Brazil was supposed to hold a census in 2020, but the pandemic and budgetary woes pushed it back to 2022. Now, it appears the survey could be delayed even further.
A report submitted to the congressional budget committee foresees just BRL 1.9 billion (USD 335 million) to organize and carry out the census next year, almost half a billion less than the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) deems is necessary.
Crucially, while cutting funding for the census, the budget report preserves the so-called “secret budget,” consisting of opaque grants handed out to politicians on request, typically to pay for infrastructure projects in their constituency and curry electoral favor.
Crucial for formulating public policy, Brazil’s population survey is traditionally held every 10 years — but the country is currently relying on data from 2010. The consultation phase for last year’s census was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and then the funding allocated for the survey was spent on fighting the health crisis. The census was pushed back until this year, but a massive budget cut for the IGBE caused further delays.