Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Demographics of Brazil
The only clearly separated minority ethnic groups in Brazil are the various non-assimilated indigenous tribes, comprising less than 1% of the population, who live in officially delimited reservations and either avoid contact with "civilized" people, or have assimilated mainstream Brazilian culture to some extent but still constitute separate social and political communities. The rest of the population can be considered a single "Brazilian" ethnic group, with highly varied racial types and backgrounds, some broad regional trends, but without clear ethnic sub-divisions. The major source of this diversity has been the sources of immigration from Europe, Middle East and Asia.
Most of the population descends from early European settlers — chiefly Portuguese, but also some Italian, French and Dutch —, African slaves (Yoruba, Ewe, Bantu, and others), and assimilated indigenous peoples (mostly Tupi and Guarani, but also of many other ethnic groups). Trans-ethnic marriages and concubinates have been common and fairly well accepted ever since the first Portuguese settlers arrived. Starting in the late 19th century Brazil received substantial immigration from several other countries, mainly Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland, Lebanon and Syria, Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania, Hungary and Armenia, Japan, China and Korea. The Japanese are the largest Asian group in Brazil, but some Chinese and Koreans also settled Brazil. Most Chinese came from mainland China, but others came from Taiwan and Hong Kong, and also from Portuguese-speaking Macau—these Chinese from Macau could speak and understand Portuguese, and it was not hard for them to adjust to Brazilian life. Those immigrant populations and their descendants still retain some of their original ethnic identity, however they are not closed communities and are rapidly integrating into mainstream Brazilian society: for instance, very few of the third generation can understand their grandparents' languages.
Like most developing countries, Brazil's most problematic disease is AIDS. This has resulted in the breaking of AIDS drug patents in order to minimise the health cost to the country's economy by offering free medication. The anti-AIDS brazilian program is recognized as one of the best ones of the world and was considerated by WHO (World Health Organization) a good model to be followed by other countries. 
About 74% of all Brazilians claims to be member of the Roman Catholic Church; most of the remaining 26% adhere to various Protestant faiths, Kardecism, Candomblé, Umbanda, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.
According to IBGE 2000 Census, these are the biggest religious denominations in Brazil (only listed those with more than a half million members):
- Roman Catholic Church: 124,980,132
- Its Charismatic Renewal branch is fast growing; the Progressive Branch (Liberation Theology) and the Conservative branch are in decline. Only 15% of its membership attends the church regularly.
- Assemblies of God (Assembléias de Deus): 8,418,140
- General Convention of the Assemblies of God: 3.6 Million. Affiliated with the American Assemblies of God, Springfield, MO
- National Convention of the Assemblies of God: 2.5 Million. A.k.a. Madureira Ministry of the Assemblies of God
- Other independent Assemblies of God: 1,9 Million, such as Bethesda Assemblies of God
- Brazilian Baptist Convention: 1,2 Million adherents. Affiliated to US Southern Baptists
- National Baptist Convention: 1 Million. Charismatics Baptists
- Independent Baptist Convention: 400,000. Scandinavian Baptists
- Other Baptists: 400,000
- Christian Congregation of Brazil: 2,6 Million. Italian-Brazilian Pentecostals
- Spiritist: 2,262,401
- These includes Kardec Spiritualist; Afro-Brazilian Sincretists, New Age, etc, but with a much larger influence than their numbers
- Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus): 2 Million. Neo-Pentecostal Movement.
- Foursquare Gospel Church: 1,318,805. Classic Pentocostals in US, but second-wave pentecostals in Brazil.
- Adventists: 1,2 Million
- Seventh-day Adventist Church: 900,000
- Promise Adventist Church: 150,000. Indigenous Pentecostal Adventists.
- Reform Seventh Day Adventist Church: 50,000
- Other Adventists: 100,000
- Lutherans: 1 Million
- Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confission
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil
- Other Lutherans
- Calvinists: 1 Million
- Presbyterian Church of Brazil: 450,000
- Independent Presbyterian Church: 300,00
- Congregationalists: 100,000
- Other Calvinists:150,000
- Jehovah's Witness: 570,000
- God is Love Pentecostal Church: 700,000. Divine Healing movement.
- Independent Catholics: 600,000
- Groups like Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church and many other small ones.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS Church"; see also Mormon)
- Islam in Brazil 0.016% or 27,239 people according to the last census, mostly recent Arab immigrants)
Portuguese is the only language with full official status in Brazil; it is virtually the only language used in schools, newspapers, radio and TV, and for all business and administrative purposes.
However, many minority languages are spoken daily throughout the vast national territory of Brazil. Some of these minority languages are spoken by indigenous peoples. Others yet are spoken by people who are for the most part bilingual (i.e. speakers of Portuguese and English, French, German, and/or Italian, etc.).
Many of the indigenous people speak languages like: Mbyá-Guaraní (or simply Guaraní ), Kaingang , Nadëb , Carajá , Caribe , Tucano , Arára , Terêna , Borôro , Apalaí , Canela and many others. Not all Amerindians desire to become part of the mainstream culture of Brazil. Even though minorities are what they are, that is minorities, cultural conflicts cannot be dismissed as insignificant or unimportant based what percentage of the national population they are.
The Brazilian language Língua Geral which is now almost extinct, at one time, until the late 1800s, was the common language used by a large number of indigenous and African and African-descendent peoples throughout the coast of Brazil — in other words, it was spoken by the majority of the population in the land. It was proscribed by the Marquis of Pombal for its association with the Jesuit missions. Today, in the Amazon Basin, political campaigning is still printed in this now rare language.
Other languages such as German, Italian, Polish and Japanese are spoken in southern Brazil. There are whole regions in southern Brazil where people speak both Portuguese and one or more of these languages. For example, it is reported that more than 90% of the residents of the small city of Presidente Lucena , located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, speak Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, a Brazilian form of the Hunsrückisch German dialect (see this website).
Although they have been rapidly replaced by Portuguese in the last few decades — partly by a government decision to integrate immigrant populations —, today states like Rio Grande do Sul are trying to reverse that trend and Immigrant Languages such as German and Italian are being reintroduced into the curriculum again in communities where they originally thrived. Meanwhile, on the Argentine and Uruguayan border regions Brazilian students are being introduced (formally) to the Spanish language.
More and more people are realizing in Brazil that a person can master and carry more than one language throughout their lives. In other words, integration into mainstream society does not mean that one has to become monolingual . More and more the reasoning is that if languages are a human capital of great value to some, perhaps they should be considered valuable to one all.
Some immigrant communities in southern Brazil, chiefly the German and the Italian ones, have lasted long enough to develop distinctive dialects from their original European sources. For example, Brazilian German, Riograndenser Hunsrückisch or Hunsrückisch and Talian or Italiano Riograndense. These are not languages per se but distinct dialects (from their original European counterparts).
Other transplanted German dialects to this part of the world have not under gone the same level of changes. For example, the Austrian dialect spoken in Dreizehnlinden or Treze Tílias in the state of Santa Catarina; or the dialect of the Donauschwaben spoken in Entre Rios, in the state of Paraná; or the Pomeranian (Pommersch) dialect spoken in many different parts of southern Brazil (in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Espírito Santo, etc.). Plautdietsch is spoken by the descendants of Russian Mennonites.
A Japanese-language newspaper, the São Paulo Shinbun , is published in the city of São Paulo. There is a significant community of Japanese speakers in Paraná and Amazonas. Much smaller groups exist in Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and other parts of Brazil.
Many Chinese, especially from Macau, speak a Portuguese creole, called Macaista, aside from Portuguese, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Brazilians who hear it are surprised that it is a unique Portuguese creole.
In São Paulo, the German-Brazilian newspaper Brasil-Post has been published for over fifty years. The Livraria Alemã of Blumenau was a fixture in the city for a long time. There are many other media organizations throughout the land specializing either in church issues, music, language, etc. The German-Brazilian community in Brazil is estimated to be in the millions.
The Italian online newspaper La Rena offers Brazilian-Italian or Talian lessons.
There are many other non-Portuguese publications, bilingual web sites, radio and television programs throughout the country. For example, TV GALEGA from Blumenau shows German-language programming on their channel on a weekly basis.
Population: 177.062.044 (2003). (For more detailed information on the current population, go to this page.)
0-14 years: 29.60% (male 25,506,918; female 24,759,204)
15-64 years: 64.55% (male 53,688,522; female 55,909,426)
65 years and over: 5.85% (male 4,380,575; female 5,554,525) (2000)
Population growth rate: 1.46% (1990-2000) -- 0.94% (2000 est.)
Birth rate: 19.89 births/1,000 population (2001)
Death rate: 6.68 deaths/1,000 population (2001)
Net migration rate: -0.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female (2000)
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female (2000)
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female (2000)
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female (2000)
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000)
Infant mortality rate: 32.70 deaths/1,000 live births (2001)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.82 years (2001)
male: 58.54 years (2000 est.)
female: 67.56 years (2000 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.18 children born/woman (2001)
The only relatively isolated minority ethnic groups in Brazil are various non-assimilated indigenous tribes, comprising less than 1% of the population, who live in officially delimited reservations and either avoid contact with "civilized" people, or constitute separate social and political communities.
The rest of the population can be considered a single "Brazilian" ethnic group, with highly varied racial types and backgrounds, but without clear ethnic sub-divisions. By physical type, a recent survey gives 55% "white", 38% "mixed", 6% "black", 1% "other". (However, these labels are poorly defined, and it is not known how they were determined for the survey.)
The ethnic origin of the Brazilians can be traced to:
Languages: Portuguese is the official language and spoken by most of the population. Spanish is understood in various degrees by most people. English and French are part of the official high school curriculum, but very few people achieve any usable degree of fluency in them.
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.3%
female: 83.2% (1995 est.)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details