Self-declared census data in Brazil suggests that just over half of the country’s population is either black or multiracial. Yet, racial inequality remains a persistent feature of modern-day Brazil, with blacks earning less money, having lower life expectancies, and forming a larger part of the country’s prison system.
Here at The Brazilian Report, we have compiled information from official census databases and the United Nations Development Program to elaborate a series of charts which illustrate the outrageous racial disparity in areas such as development, inequality, share of services, and levels of teenage pregnancy. In all such charts, we see that the whiter the municipality, the less social, economic, and health problems it faces.
From each graph, you can also see the ethnic makeup of each of Brazil’s five macro-regions. The South and Southeast are the whitest parts of the country, with more data points to the right side of the chart, while the Northeast and North are least white – and, not coincidentally, the poorest parts of Brazil.
How the charts should be read
Each of Brazil’s municipalities is represented by a blob on the graph, colored in accordance with its region and proportional to the size of its population. São Paulo, for instance, is represented by the largest circle on the graph. Each municipality is arranged across the X-axis in line with its ethnic makeup. The higher proportion of white individuals in a given city, the more to the right it sits on the graph. The population of Salvador, one of the largest cities in Brazil’s Northeast region, is only roughly 18.9 percent white, so appears on the left side of the chart.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. A country scores a higher HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the GDP per capita is higher. It was developed by Indian Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen and Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, with help from Gustav Ranis of Yale University and Lord Meghnad Desai of the London School of Economics, and was further used to measure the country’s development by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The Gini index or Gini coefficient is a statistical measure of distribution developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini in 1912. It is used as a gauge of economic inequality, measuring income distribution or, less commonly, wealth distribution among a population.