Brazil: Internalized Venezuelan migrants have higher incomes

They are spread across 930 Brazilian cities

Published on 06/12/2023 - 13:03 By Gilberto Costa - Agência Brasil - Brasília

Venezuelan refugee families opting to settle in various regions across Brazil are eight times more likely to attain economic self-sufficiency compared to those who remain in their initial destination, the state of Roraima. Additionally, they express higher satisfaction levels in terms of housing quality, their children's education, urban mobility, and access to the internet.

The findings stem from a survey conducted by the Pólis Research Institute between August and November. Focused on Venezuelan migrant refugees residing in Roraima's capital Boa Vista, and those who have migrated to other Brazilian cities for employment, the survey revealed insights from 59 families previously surveyed in 2021.

The internalization initiative named Projeto Acolhidos por Meio do Trabalho has proven successful, with 65.8 percent of respondents working under formal contracts upon leaving Roraima.


The beneficiaries predominantly comprise females (55.1%) of working age, distributed as 21.1 percent aged 18 to 24, 52.5 percent aged 25 to 39, and 23.2 percent aged 40 to 59. In terms of education, 23 percent completed elementary school, 53.3 percent finished secondary school, 13.6 percent underwent technical schooling, and 10.1 percent attained higher education.

According to the Association of Volunteers for International Service Brazil (AVSI Brasil), the average income of the families living in different parts of the country stands at BRL 3,212—five times higher than families remaining in Roraima (BRL 621). Per capita income also reflects a substantial variation, with those who have moved to other states earning BRL 894, compared to BRL 157 for those who stayed in Roraima—a 469 percent difference.

Venezuelans arriving in Brazil commonly seek employment and medical treatment through the country’s public healthcare network, the SUS, according to Bertha Maakaroun, a researcher focusing on the integration of Venezuelans into the Brazilian labor market. "Most of them immigrate because of the SUS," the researcher says.

National strategy

The Brazilian Ministry of Development and Social Assistance, Family and Fight against Hunger reports that strategies for voluntarily relocating Venezuelan migrants from Roraima to other Brazilian cities have positively impacted over 100,000 people since 2018. The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR notes that this figure represents nearly a quarter of the 425,000 Venezuelans residing in Brazil. In total, 930 cities across the country have received Venezuelan individuals and families.

The project has relocated Venezuelans in 55 cities in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, as well as the Federal District.

Implemented by the Association of Volunteers for International Service Brazil (AVSI Brasil) and the Migration and Human Rights Institute (IMDH), the project receives funding from the US government's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). AVSI Brasil, established in 2007, is a Civil Society Organization of Public Interest (OSCIP) affiliated with the Italian AVSI Foundation.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Sabrina Craide

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