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More than half of Brazil population middle class

22 september 2012, 10:23
0
©AFP
©AFP
Fifty-three percent of Brazil's population of 194 million is now middle class, as tens of millions of people are lifted out of poverty, AFP reports citing a government study.

The study, released by the presidency's strategic affairs secretariat, found that 104 million Brazilians were now part of the middle class.

Among them were 35 million who emerged from poverty over the past 10 years. And nearly 80 percent of the new members of the expanding middle class were of African ancestry.

Between 2002 and 2012, 21 percent of the Brazilian population moved from the lower class to the middle class and six percent from the middle class to the upper class.

The upper class was said to comprise 40 million people, or 20 percent of the population, while the lower class encompasses 55 million people, or 28 percent of the total.

"The expansion of the middle class resulted from a process of (economic) growth combined with a reduction of inequality," the study found.

"With this combination, the shrinking of the lower class was more intense than the expansion of the upper class."

A middle class family is defined as one with a monthly per capita income of between $143 and $502 and with "a low probability of sinking back into poverty in the near future."

"With the growth rate and the trend toward a reduction of inequality over the past 10 years, the middle class will encompass 57 percent of the Brazilian population in 2022," the survey said.

It said that 61 percent of the middle class was employed, with 56 percent holding a formal job.

In 2012, 57 percent of the workers (56 million people) and 58 percent of those with formal jobs (31 million) were described as members of the middle class.

The income of this segment of the population grew 3.5 percent over the past decade.

Between 2003 and 2010, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva implemented a series of social programs that pulled 28 million Brazilians out of poverty.

His successor and protegee, President Dilma Rousseff, has pursued the same policies.

More than 50 percent of the Brazilian population is of African descent.

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