Guide to Brazil

Race in Brazil

Angelica Dass skin color Pantone project race
Angelica Dass’s skin color Pantone project

When Brazil’s national statistics institute IGBE carried out its most recent national census in 2010, the results were unexpected. For the first time ever, more than half of the population – 54 percent, to be exact – identified as either black or brown/mixed.

Labels used in the census to describe race haven’t evolved much over time. In 2010, Brazilians could choose only between black, white, brown/mixed, indigenous, or, for its inhabitants with East-Asian heritage, yellow (yikes). In fact, this isn’t so different from the first census conducted by IGBE in 1872, offering the options of ‘black’, ‘white’, brown/mixed (‘pardo’),...

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