Poverty and extreme poverty reached record levels in Brazil in 2021. The conclusion is from an analysis released this Friday (2) by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).
Last year, 62.5 million people were considered poor in the country. The number corresponded to 29.4% of the total population (212.6 million).
Of the 62.5 million, 17.9 million lived in extreme poverty. This number represented 8.4% of the total population.
Both the quotas and the percentages are the highest in a historical series that started in 2012, says the IBGE.
The group below the poverty line (62.5 million) jumped 22.7% in 2021, an increase of 11.6 million people compared to 2020 (51 million). It is as if the entire population of Paraná (11.6 million) had migrated to this condition.
The contingent in extreme poverty (17.9 million) jumped 48.2% in 2021, with 5.8 million more compared to 2020 (12 million). This increase is comparable to half the population of Paraná (11.6 million).
The data are part of the SIS (Synthesis of Social Indicators), an IBGE publication that analyzes statistics in areas such as standard of living, work and health.
To define the poverty and extreme poverty lines, the institute adopts World Bank criteria in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). The poverty line comprises people living on less than US$5.50 a day. The extreme poverty rate is set at US$1.90 per day.
According to the IBGE, the rise in indicators in 2021 can be associated with the decrease in values and the public served by emergency aid.
Another possible factor to explain the context of last year is the incomplete recovery of the labor market. In other words, the return of economic activities was not enough to prevent the loss of income.
In 2020, the initial year of the pandemic, emergency aid of BRL 600, aimed at a wider audience, helped to bring the poverty rate to 24.1%, below the percentage of 25.9% recorded in 2019.
The proportion in extreme poverty had fallen to 5.7% in 2020, compared to 6.8% in 2019.
Inequality between regions
The IBGE analysis takes a look at regional inequalities. In 2021, the Northeast had 27% of the country’s total population, behind the Southeast (42.1%).
Even though it is not the most populous region, the Northeast concentrated more than half of the extremely poor people in Brazil (53.2%). The region also encompassed 44.8% of the country’s poor.
The Southeast, in turn, accounted for 25.5% of the extremely poor and 29.5% of the Brazilian poor.
According to the IBGE, 48.7% of the population in the Northeast –almost half– was considered poor in 2021. This is the highest level in the country. This proportion was at 40.5% in 2020.
Poverty is even greater among children
The synthesis also addresses the issue of child poverty. Last year, the percentage of children up to 14 years old below the poverty line reached 46.2% in Brazil.
It is another maximum of the series that started in 2012. The indicator was at 38.6% in 2020.
In absolute numbers, the population aged up to 14 years in poverty increased from 17 million to 20.3 million. The increase from 2020 to 2021 was 19.3% (or 3.3 million more).
The proportion of children aged up to 14 years below the extreme poverty line reached 13.4% last year, also a record in the historical series. The percentage was at 8.9% in 2020.
In absolute numbers, the population in this age group living in extreme poverty increased from 3.9 million to 5.9 million. The increase was 50.1% (or 2 million more).
Blacks and browns have more difficulties
The IBGE also highlights the differences in the analysis by color or race. In 2021, 11% of blacks and browns were considered extremely poor in Brazil. Among whites, the percentage was 5%, less than half.
Also according to the institute, 37.7% of blacks and browns lived in poverty, double the level found among whites (18.6%).
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