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General information

According to UN data from January 15, 2021, the population of Brazil exceeds 213,000,000 people. The male population of the country is 49% of the total population (more than 105,000,000) and female population constitutes 51% of the total number (more than 108,000,000). The median age is 31 years, approximately 67% of the population is in the working-age group (15-65 years). The percentage of people under the age of 15 is 26.3%. The smallest age group is constituted by the people over 65 years old (6.7%). The total life expectancy for 2021 is 72 years, with men's life expectancy being approximately 69 years, while women's is 76 and more. 

Racial composition and religion

Racial composition

The country is mostly populated by Brazilians, which is one of the most numerous and mixed groups in the whole world. According to censuses, Brazilians usually determine themselves by self-consciousness in the following categories:

  • White Brazilians (port. Brasileiros brancos, or simply Brancos) are Brazilians with characteristics of Caucasians, or Brazilians of European descent. This is the largest group, constituting almost 54% of the total population.
  • Afro-Brazilians (port. Pretos, Negros, Africanos, rarely Afro-Brasileiros) are Brazilians of African descent, they constitute less than 6.2% of the total population.
  • Asian, or "yellow" Brazilians (port. Amarelos) are Brazilians of Asian origin, the number of which does not exceed 0.5%.
  • "Brown" Brazilians or Pardu (port. Pardos) are Brazilians of mixed origin, the exact number of which is unknown.
  • Indians (port. Índios). The indigenous population of Brazil. Lived on its territory even before the European conquests. The whole number of Indians does not exceed 0.5%.

As the data from the 2006 census show, people usually distinguish between a large number of transitional categories (such as Mulatto, Mestizo, Caboclo, etc.), and a very broad variation in skin colour (more than 200 different shades).

Indians are the indigenous population of Brazil, though the gene pool of modern Brazilians is only 13% Indian. African genes constitute about 44% of the gene pool. No more than 1% of the total population of the country consider themselves Indians.


Brazil is a secular state, and the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. At the same time, most of the believers are Christians (88,9%). Christians in Brazil are mainly Roman Catholic Church members (123,000,000). More than 560,000 Christian believers are members of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, which acts independently.

The second most popular religion in Brazil is Buddhism with approximately 244,000 followers. This is mostly because of the presence of a large Japanese community in the country.

Tibetan and Chinese schools of Buddhism are gaining popularity, too.

According to the latest census, the number of Muslims does not exceed 35,000. However, Muslims themselves strongly disagree with that, claiming that the number of Islam followers is more than 1,000,000. Independent organizations believe that this number cannot be less than 204,000. Sunni Islam is followed by most brazilian Muslims.

Judaism is not very popular among the population (0.1%). In Brazil, most Jews are of European heritage (Germany, Poland, and Israel). Since 1948, many Jewish families have immigrated to Israel.

Most Indigenous peoples tend to traditional beliefs (2.8%). The example being the tribes of Apurinã, Baré (Hanera), Boróro, Jamamadi, Canela, Cambeba, Kanamarí, Kapinawá, etc.

The percentage of atheists in Brazil is about 7.9%.

The official language

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese). It is spoken by almost the entire population of the republic (more than 190 million people), except for the indigenous uncontacted peoples.

Most of the Native American languages are now considered extinct. At present, it is known about 145 Native American languages, which are spoken by the tribes living near the Amazon river. The largest Native American languages in Brazil are Ticuna (33,000), Macushi (19,000), Kaiwá (18,000), Tenetehára (15,000), Terêna or Etelena (15,000), Mundurukú and Xavante (both 10,000), Yanomaman (9,000), Mawé (Sateré) and Kayapó or Mẽbêngôkre (both 7,000) and Wapixana (6,500).

The languages of immigrants are widely spoken in Brazil. The most numerous of them are German, Talian (a mix of Italian and Portuguese), Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and some Asian languages like Japanese, Chinese and Korean.