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Revenues of 1% richest is 33.7 times higher than half of the poor

An IBGE survey found social and economic inequality

Published in 06/05/2020 - 14:45 By Ana Cristina Campos - Rio de Janeiro

In 2019, the average monthly income ($153.50) of half of the poorest section of the population in Brazil was 33.7 times higher than the average $5.17 thousand made every month by the richest one percent of the population. The results can be found in the Continuous PNAD (National Household Sample Survey) – Revenues of All Sources 2019, published in Rio de Janeiro today (May 6) by the government’s statistics agency IBGE.

The ten percent of the population with the lowest revenues held 0.8 percent of the real monthly household income per capita of the $53 billion gauged in the same year, whereas the 10 percent with the highest revenues concentrated 42.9 percent of this amount.

“Brazil is historically known as a country with huge social and economic inequality. Inequality continues to be high and bringing it down is a process that takes time,” said IBGE analyst Alessandra Brito, who spearheaded the study.


Of all of the people living in Brazil in 2019, 131.2 million (62.6%) had some sort of income. The real average income of all sources kept virtually unaltered in 2019 (401.71) against the previous year. The Southeast registered the biggest amount ($477.81), followed by the South ($451.45), and the Central-West ($451.27), whereas the lowest values were reported in the Northeast ($272.78) and the North ($289.22).

Brito points out that three quarters of the household income comes from the income of the labor market. “We have observed that, starting in 2015, 2016, the labor market started undergoing a change, with a reduction in formal jobs and the increase in informality, with more precarious conditions, and this is reflected on the income of families,” she said.


According to IBGE data, the significant gap between the real average monthly income of all jobs of white ($541.78), brown ($310.54), and black people ($302.23) persists. Gender is no different, the revenues of all men’s jobs ($461.57) is 28.7 percent higher than women’s ($358.60).

The IBGE analyst noted that inequality among men, women, white, brown, and black people is a structural phenomenon in the country. “The labor market still sets different values based on people’s characteristics,” she stated.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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