In the 2010 Census, more than 190 thousand enumerators visited 67.6 million housing units in the 5,565 Brazilian municipalities. This website brings information about all the steps of the 2010 Census, with special highlight to the survey results.

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2010 Census first final results: Brazil has a population of 190,755,799 residents


Brazil has a population of 190,755,799 residents, according to the 2010 Population Census Summary, which presents the very first final results of the 12th General Census of Brazil. The publication has provided the country with a wide range of information since its first edition, conducted in 1872, about the demographic evolution of Brazil, including data about its population’s sex and age groups, average number of residents in permanent private households and number of enumerated households, by type (occupied, empty, closed, of occasional use or collective) and urban or rural status. The printed publication includes CD-ROM containing information at more detailed geographic levels: Federation Units, municipalities, districts and Metropolitan Areas. It also contains 21 tables with some preliminary results of the  2010 Census universe for Major Regions and Federation Units, for instance, persons responsible for the private households, spouses of the persons responsible for the private households, occurrence of shared responsibility for the household, persons with a birth certificate from a register office, literacy, household income, mortality and some characteristics of permanent private households. 


In coming months, IBGE will release new data from the 2010 Census about the territory structure of the country, census tracts and social, economic, demographic and household-related issues relative to the universe data, as mentioned in the publishing calendar:

The complete publication is available on


The hotsite makes available tables and graphs separated up to the municipality level. Finally, at, there is a search tool for the results which may be implemented into any web site.


See below some highlights of the 2010 Population Census Summary. 


A total 67 million households visited in 5,565 municipalities


The Population Census is the most complex statistical operation conducted in a country, especially in a country of continental dimensions, such as Brazil, with a heterogeneous and sometimes hard-to-reach territory of 8,515,692.27 km², formed by 27 Federation Units and 5,565 municipalities. The operation involved 230 thousand persons, being 191 thousand enumerators. The total investment in 2010 was R$ 1.2 billion, what represents four dollars per resident.


The enumerators visited 67.5 million households between August 1st to October 31st, 2010, and at least one resident provided information about all the residents of each housing unit. The first results for municipal   populations were released on the Official Gazette of the Union of November 4th, 201, and city governments had a period of 20 days to validate the released figures. IBGE performed, in the same period, the supervision and quality control of all the material collected, in partnership with the State Census Commissions (CCE) and the Municipal Commissions of Statistics and Geography (CMGE). Both played the role of communication channels between IBGE and society, and took part in the entire Census process.


On November 29, 2010, IBGE released the municipal population figures, which pointed to a population of 190,732,694. 23.105 residents, that is, minus 23,105 residents compared to the result released now. That occurred because these results had come from a summary database and received a validation treatment to track possible omission or repetition in data transmission. Besides, municipalities with indigenous lands, such as, for example, São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM) and Boca do Acre (AM), which are often far-off and have a more complex system for data transmission, recorded population growth after the end of data collection. 


In order to reach better quality patterns in the 2010 Census, IBGE has implemented several managing, methodological and technological innovations, among which can be highlighted the update of the territorial base, the use of handheld computers equipped with GPS for data collection and of the Internet for questionnaire completion. The technological innovations employed in the 2010 Census, the first one in the world to be entirely digital, caused IBGE to be one of the ten institutions to receive, in February 2011, a prize offered by UNESCO and Netexplorateur, a French NGO that supports the development of a digital society.


Population was estimated in 899 households


Interviews were conducted in 56.5 million (83.7%) of the 67.5 million enumerated households. A total 899 thousand households (1.3%) were classified as closed, that is, it was not possible to conduct interviews, but there was evidence of the existence of residents in them. After the end of collection and supervision in the field, IBGE made use of a methodology to estimate the number of residents in the closed households. This procedure is followed by several Official Statistical Institutes in countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, Mexico and the United Kingdom, and had already been adopted in the 2007 Population Count conducted by IBGE. 


The methodology employed to estimate the number of residents in closed households consists of attributing to each one of those households the number of residents of another housing unit which had been previously considered closed, but was eventually enumerated. The procedure uses random choice and considers the Federation Unit, the municipal population size and rural or urban status of the household. The total estimated population informed by the 2010 Census is 2,795,533 residents. 


When comparing the population data of 2010 with those of previous years, it is necessary to note that in the 2010 Census resident estimation in closed households was used for the first time.


The 2010 Population Census also found 6.1 million (9.0%) empty households, that is, those which did not have a resident on the reference date (the night from July 31st to August 1st, 2010), even if they became occupied later on. Buildings constructed but not inhabited, houses for sale or for rent are examples of empty households.


Households for occasional use, which amount to 3.9 million (5.8%) are those occasionally used as a housing unit, for rent on weekends, vacation or other.


The number of collective households (hotels, boarding houses, prisons, barracks, retirement homes, orphanages, convents, workers’ quarters, etc.) was 110 thousand (0.1%).


In 2000, considering the total 54.3 million households, 45 million were occupied; 528 thousand, closed; 6 million, empty and 2.7 million, for occasional use.


Brazilian population grew almost 20 times since 1872


The Brazilian population reached the figure of 190,755,799 inhabitants on the reference date of the 2010 Population Census (the night of July 31 to August 1st, 2010). The series of Brazilian censuses show that the population has presented successive instances of growth, reaching almost 20 times over its initial figure since the first census conducted in Brazil, in 1872, when the country had  9,930,478 residents.


Until the 1940’s, there was a predominance of high fertility and mortality levels in the country. With the decrease of the latter in the middle of the 1940’s and the continuation of high fertility levels, population growth in Brazil evolved to almost 3.0% in the 1950’s. In the beginning of the 1960’s, fertility levels started to decline gradually, and this was even more significant in the following decade. This fact caused the average annual geometric growth rates to decline as well. Compared to figures from the 2000 Census, the Brazilian population recorded relative growth of 12.3%, what results in average annual geometric growth of 1.17%, the lowest rate in the series analyzed.


North and Central West Regions recorded the biggest population growth


Between 2000 and 2010, population growth was not uniform in the Major Regions and Federation Units. The biggest average annual geometric growth rates were those of the North (2.09%) and Central West (1.91%), where the migration component and the higher fertility figures contributed to this differential growth. The ten Federation Units which recorded biggest population growth in relative terms were located in these two Regions, being the main highlights Amapá and Roraima, with average annual increase of 3.45% and 3.34%, respectively. The Northeast (1.07%) and Southeast (1.05%) recorded similar population increase. The South (0.87%), which, since the 1970 Census, has had annual growth of 1.4% recorded the smallest growth, affected by the low rates of Rio Grande do Sul (0.49%) and Paraná (0.89%).


Since it has the biggest population, the Southeast Region accounted for the most of the population increment, in absolute figures, having reached 37.9% of its overall growth in the country between the two last census editions. The second position in terms of importance belongs to the Northeast, whose participation in the national population increment between 2000 and 2010 reached 25.5%. These two Major Regions held 63.4% (13.3 million persons) of the total population increment in the last decade. The Federation Units accounting for the biggest absolute participation in the country’s population growth in the last decade were São Paulo (20.2% of the population increment, or 4.2 million persons), Minas Gerais (8.1%, or 1.7 million), Rio de Janeiro (7.6%, or 1.6 million), Pará (6.6%, or 1.4 million) and Ceará (4.9%, or 1.0 million). Compared to figures in the last decade, it can be seen that these two last Regions have replaced Bahia and Paraná.


The most populated Major Regions were the Southeast (with 42.1% of the Brazilian population), Northeast (27.8%) and South (14.4%). The North (8.3%) and Central West (7.4%) still keep their increasing participation in population growth, whereas the other regions still hold a historical trend to decline in their national participation.


The most populated states in BrazilSão Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná – concentrate, together, 58.7% of the total population in the country. São Paulo is the state which has the biggest municipal concentration of population: its 32 biggest municipalities (5.0%) concentrate almost 60.0% of the state residents. The smallest concentration occurred in Maranhão, where the population of the 11 biggest municipalities, which also make up about 5.0% of the municipalities, corresponds to 35.4% of the total population in the state.


In 2000, 58 new municipalities were created 


In the 2010 Population Census 5,565 municipalities were surveyed. Their relative contributions in Northeast (32.2%), Southeast (30.0%) and North (8.1%) were lower than the ones estimated for the 5.507 municipalities existing in the 2000 Population Census. South (21.3%) and Central-West (8.4%) increased their contributions to the number of municipalities in the country, as in the last decade new municipalities were created. The South Region had an increase of 29 municipalities (all of them in Rio Grande do Sul), whereas in Central-West 20 new municipalities were created in the period from 2000 to 2010, 15 of them in Mato Grosso.


Among the most populous municipalities, 15 registered a population over 1 million residents, against 13 in 2000. That group alone gathered 40.2 million people in 2010, accounting for 21.1% of the total population of the country.  The three most populous municipalities are still São Paulo (11,253,503 residents), Rio de Janeiro (6,320,446) and Salvador (2,675,656).  Belo Horizonte (2,375,151) was the sixth most populous municipality in 2010, surpassed by Brasília (2,570,160) and Fortaleza (2,452,185). 


Among the municipalities with more than 1 million residents, the ones that grew the most in ten years were Manaus (1.802.014 people in 2010), recording an annual rate of 2.51% and changing from the ninth to the seventh position; and Brasília (2.570.160), changing from the sixth to the fourth position, with an average annual growth of 2.28%. Porto Alegre (1,409,351 people) was the municipality that grew the least in this group, with an annual increase of only 0.35%. 


The capitals of North and Northeast grew more than the other municipalities of their respective Federation Units, except for Pará, Maranhão, Rio Grande do Norte and Pernambuco.     The highest difference between the annual average geometric growth rates was observed in Tocantins, where Palmas – the capital that increased the most in Brazil – recorded a rate of 5.21%, while the other municipalities of the state grew 1.25% a year.  In the South Region, Curitiba and Florianópolis grew more than the group of the other municipalities of its states. Conversely, Porto Alegre – capital with the lowest population growth, 0.35% a year – grew less than the group of the other municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul (which also registered the lowest growth among the other municipalities, 0.51%).    In the Central-West Region, except for Mato Grosso do Sul, the growth of the municipalities of the capitals was lower than that of the other municipalities; the same thing happened to all the states in Southeast.


Maranhão, Piauí and Pará register the lowest urbanization levels


The addition of almost 23 million urban residents led to an increase in the urbanization level, which changed from 81.2% in 2000, to 84.4% in 2010. That rise resulted from the natural increase per se in the urban areas, as well as from the migrations to those areas.   


The criteria adopted to subdivide the Brazilian territory in urban and rural areas are based on the legislation of each Brazilian municipality.  The urban areas are those inside the urban perimeter (defined by municipal law) of a city or village.  The rural areas are those outside the urban perimeter, also defined by municipal law.  


Inside an urban perimeter as defined by a municipal law, there can exist urbanized areas, non-urbanized areas and even isolated urban areas.  Those areas are typically separated from the municipal or district headquarters by a rural area or by another legal limit.    Likewise, the rural areas can be classified as rural agglomerations of urban extension, villages, nucleus or other agglomerations; all of them also defined by municipal legislation.


Southeast is still the most urbanized region of Brazil, recording an urbanization level of 92.9%, followed by Central-West (88.8%) and South (84.9%). Conversely, North (73.5%) and Northeast (73.1%) have more than ¼ of their residents living in rural areas.  Rio de Janeiro (96.7%), Federal District (96.6%) and São Paulo (95.9%) are the Federation Units with the highest urbanization levels.   The states with the lowest percentages of population living in urban areas are concentrated in North  and Northeast. Maranhão (63.1%), Piauí (65.8%) and Pará (68.5%) recorded indexes below 70%.


Brazil has 96 men per 100 women


According to the 2010 Population Census, there is a ratio of 96.0 men per 100 women in Brazil; a result of the exceeding 3,941,819 women in relation to the total number of men.  With that result, the historical trend of female predominance in the population of Brazil was intensified, as in 2000 the indicator was of 96.9 men per 100 women.  


The North Region is the only one to display a superior number of men (101.8 per 100 women). All of its states also display a sex ratio above 100%. In the other regions, the sex ratios are the following:  Central-West, 98.6 men per 100 women; South, 96.3 men per 100 women; Northeast, 95.3 men per 100 women respectively; and Southeast, 94.6 men per 100 women.


Among the states, the highest sex ratio is in Mato Grosso, with 104.3 men per 100 women The Federation Unit with the lowest sex ratio is Rio de Janeiro:  91.2 men per 100 women. Except for Amazonas, all Federation Units display a drop in the sex ratios between 2000 and 2010.


Although for the total population of Brazil there is a female predominance, in more than 60.0% of the municipalities a male surplus can be observed, a result of the migration flows.  However, such predominance occurs in less populous municipalities.  Approximately 80.0% of the municipalities with less than 5.000 residents have more men than women in their populations. Conversely, in all the municipalities with more than 500 thousand residents, the number of women is higher than the number of men.   


The proportion of youngsters decreases and the one of elderly increases


The contribution of all age groups up to 25 years of age to the total population in 2010 is lower than the one observed in 2000; whereas the other age groups had their contributions increased.  The group of children from zero to four years of age of males, for example, accounted for 5.7% of the total population in 1991, while females accounted for 5.5%. In 2000, these percentages dropped to 4.9% and 4.7%, reaching 3.7% and 3.6% in 2010. At the same time, the enlargement of the age pyramid top can be observed in the growth of the relative contribution of the population of 65 years of age or over, which changed from 4.8% in 1991, to 5.9% in 2000, and reached 7.4% in 2010.


The groups under 20 years of age already present an absolute decrease in its amount.  The absolute growth of the population of Brazil in the last ten years was mainly attributable to the growth in the adult population, especially in the elderly population. 


The North Region, despite the continuous aging observed in the last two decades, still presents a very young structure, due to the high fertility levels recorded in the past. In this Major Region, the population of children under 5 years of age, which was 14.3% in 1991, fell to 12.7% in 200, and reached 9.8% in 2010. The proportion of elderly people aged 65 years and over surpassed from 3.0% in 1991 and 3.6% in 2000 to 4.6% in 2010. The Northeast Region also has, the same way, characteristics of a young population. Children under 5 years of age corresponded to 12.8% of the population in 1991; in 2000 this figure had decreased by 10.6%, and reached 8.0% in 2010. The proportion of elderly persons changed from 5.1% in 1991 to 5.8% in 2000 and 7.2% in 2010.


The Southeast and South presented similar evolution in the age structure, remaining as the two Regions with the highest levels of aging in the country. Both had, in 2010, 8.1% of their population formed by elderly persons aged 65 years and over, whereas the proportion of children under 5 years of age was, respectively, 6.5% and 6.4%.


The Central West Region presents an age structure and evolution similar to those of the overall population in Brazil. The percentage of children under 5 years of age in 2010 reached 7.6%, a figure that was 11.5% in 1991 and 9.8% in 2000. The elderly population recorded growth, having changed from 3.3% in 1991, to 4.3% in 2000 and 5.8% in 2010.


Average number of residents per household fell to 3.3


In Brazil, the household density, the ratio between the number of persons living in private households and the number of private occupied households, recorded decrease of 13.2% in the last census period, more than the 9.6% observed between the Censuses of 1991 and 2000, and having changed from 3.8%, in 200, to 3.3, in 2010. This behavior was maintained both in urban and rural areas.


The North Region has the biggest household density, whereas the South, the lowest. The trend to decline is a general characteristic and is directly related to the reduction of fertility. Among the five Major Regions, only the North had an average of residents per household equals to 4.0. In the other ones, this figure ranged between the 3.1 of the South and the 3.5 of the Northeast. In the overall context, the averages ranged between 3.0 in Rio Grande do Sul and Rio de Janeiro, and 4.3 in the states of Amazonas and Amapá.



Social Communication
April 29, 2011

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