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: number of Catholics falls and number of Protestants, Spiritists and persons without religion records increase


The 2010 population census results show increase of religious diversity in Brazil.  The proportion of Catholics remains on a downward trend as observed in the two previous decades, although this religion still has the biggest number of followers. There was increase of the Protestant population, with a change from 15.4% in 2000 to 22.2% in 2010. Among those who declared to be Protestant, 60.0% came from a Pentecostal background, 18.5% were missionaries and 21.8% were non-classified Protestants. The survey also points to the increase of the overall number of Spiritists, although at a lower pace than in the previous decade, and of the population professing other religions. Data about color, sex, age group and level of schooling show that Roman Catholics and persons without religion are the groups which hold the highest percentage of male individuals.  Spiritists recorded the highest indicators of education and income.


Changes, however, were not limited to the religious composition of the Brazilian population. The 2010 Census also recorded changes in the general characteristics of the population, such as, for example, the accelerated aging of the population, the reduction of fertility rates and the restructuring of the age pyramid. Investigation about color or race informed that more than half of the population declared to be brown or black, and in 21 states this percentage was above the national average (50.7%). The biggest proportions were found in Pará (76.8%), Bahia (76.3%) and Maranhão (76.2%). Only in Santa Catarina (84.0%), Rio Grande do Sul (83.2%), Paraná (70.3%) and São Paulo (63.9%), more than half of the population declared to be white.


Besides, almost 46 million Brazilians, about 24% of the population, declared to have at least one of the disabilities investigated (mental, motor, visual or hearing). Women were the majority in this group. Among the elderly, approximately 68% declared to have some kind of disability. Blacks and brown formed the groups holding the biggest proportions of disabled persons (27.1% for both). In all the color or race groups, there were more disabled women, especially in the black population (23.5% of men and 30.9% of women, with a difference of 7.4 percentage points). The 2010 Census also shows that inequalities remain when disabled persons are concerned, since they have lower schooling rates compared with the population without any of the disabilities investigated. The same is true in terms of employment and income. All these figures refer to the addition of three levels of severity in the disabilities surveyed (some difficulty, great difficulty, total incapacity).  


These pieces of information form the publication 2010 Population Census: General characteristics of the population, religion and persons with disabilities, which is available at



In 30 years, percentage of Protestants rose from 6.6% to 22.2% 


The Protestant religious segment  recorded the biggest increases between the two last census editions. In 2000, Protestants made up 15.4% of the population. In 2010, they already made up 22.2%, what represented increase by about 16 million persons (from 26.2 million to 42.3 million). This percentage was 9.0%, in 1991, and 6.6%, in 1980.


Catholics fell from 73.6% to 64.6% in 2010. Although the religious profile of the Brazilian population still presents Catholics as the majority, this religion has lost members since the first Census, conducted in 1872. Until 1970, the proportion of Catholics changed by 7.9 percentage points, and was reduced from 99.7%, in 1872, to 91.8%.    


This decrease of the number of Catholics occurred in all the regions, and remained higher in the Northeast (with fall from 79.9% to 72.2% between 2000 and 2010) and in the South (from 77.4% to 70.1%). The biggest decrease occurred in the North, from 71.3% to 60.6%, whereas Protestants, in this same Region, recorded increase from 19.8% to 28.5%.


Among the states, the smallest percentage of Catholics was found in Rio de Janeiro, 45.8% in 2010. The biggest number of them was in Piauí, 85.1%.  Considering Protestants, the biggest number lived in Rondônia (33.8%), and the smallest, in Piauí (9.7%).



In 2010, 8.0% of the Brazilians declared not to have a religion


Among the Spiritists, which rose from 1.3% of the population (2.3 million) in 2000 to 2.0% in 2010 (3.8 million), the most significant increase was recorded in the Southeast, where the proportion changed from 2.0% to 3.1% between 2000 and 2010. That represented increase by more than 1 million persons (from 1.4 million in 2000 to 2.5 million in 2010.). Rio de Janeiro was the state with the biggest number of Spiritists (4.0%), followed by São Paulo (3.3%), Minas Gerais (2.1%) and Espírito Santo (1.0%).


The 2010 Census also recorded increase of the population which did not profess any religion. In 2000 this group was formed by 12.5 million persons (7.3%), and surpassed the 15 million of 2010 (8.0%). The followers of umbanda and candomblé remained at 0.3% in 2010.


Men make up most of the Catholics and persons without religion           


With proportions of 65.5% for men and 63.8% for women, Catholics together with persons without religion (9.7% of men and 6.4% of women), are the groups with most representatives of the male sex. In the other groups, women were the majority.  


The proportion of Catholics was also bigger among persons aged 40 years and over, and reached 75.2% in the group aged 80 and over.  The same occurred among Spiritists, with most members aged between 50 and 59 (3.1%).  Among Protestants, the biggest percentages were seen among children (25.8% in the group aged 5 -9) and teenagers (25.4% in the group aged 10-14).


With reference to the analysis by color or race, the proportion of Catholics follows an approximate distribution of the population.  48.8% declared to be white, 43.0% brown, 6.8% black, 1.0% yellow and 0.3%, indigenous.  Among the Spiritists, 68.7% were white, a significantly higher percentage of this group of color or race than in the total  population (47.5%).   Among Protestants, the majority was brown (45.7%).  Blacks were the majority in umbanda and candomblé (21.1%0.  Among persons without religion, color declaration was most often brown as well (47.1%).


Spiritist population presents best education indicators


The 2010 Census results point to a significant distinction of Spiritists in relation to other religious groups concerning level of schooling. This group has the biggest proportion of persons with complete higher education (31.5%) and the smallest percentages of individuals without instruction (1.8%) and with incomplete elementary school (15.0%). Catholics (6.8%), persons without religion (6.7%) Pentecostal protestants (6.2%) are the groups with the main proportions of persons aged 15 years and over without instruction. In terms of incomplete elementary school these are also the three groups which present the biggest proportions (39.8%, 39.2% and 42.3%, respectively). Catholics and persons without religion recorded the biggest percentages of persons aged 15 years and over who are illiterate (10.6% and 9.4%, respectively). In the Catholic population there is a proportionally high participation of elderly persons, a group in which the proportion of illiterate persons is bigger.  On the other hand, only 1.4% of the Spiritists are not literate.


More than 60% of the Pentecostal protestants earn up to one minimum wage


The comparison of distribution of persons aged 10 years and over by monthly household income per capita showed that 55.8% of the Catholics were concentrated in the group that earned up to one minimum wage.  However, Pentecostal protestants are the ones presenting the biggest proportion of persons in this range of income (63.7%), followed by persons without religion (59.2%). The other extreme, of range of income above 5 minimum wages, presents another highlight: the percentage of persons who declared to be Spiritists (19.7%).


Brazilians live 25 years more than in 1960


In half a century (1960-2010), life expectancy of the Brazilian population increased by 25.4 years, having changed from 48.0 to 73.4 years. On the other hand, the average number of children per woman fell from 6.3 to 1.9 in this period, a figure which is below the replacement level of the population. These changes affect the age pyramid, make the bottom narrower and the top broader, reflecting the structure of an older population, which is a characteristic of more developed countries.  


Participation of the elderly in the population went from 2.7% to 7.4%


The reduction of fertility levels led to the decrease from 42.7% (1960) to 24.1% (2010) of the participation of persons aged 0 to 14 in the total.  Besides the fall of fertility, lower mortality levels led to and increase from 54.6% to 68.5¨, in this period, of the participation of the population at active-age (15 to 64 years of age). The increase in participation of persons aged 65 years and over, in the period 1960/201, went from 2.7% to 7.4%.  


The 2010 Census also showed that, throughout five decades, the sex ration went from 99.8 (1960) men for each 100 women to 96 men.  This change results from the higher male mortality versus female mortality. 


31.1% of white persons and 12.8% of black ones between 15 and 24 years of age were taking higher education courses 


 In 2010, Brazil had 91 million persons who declared to be white (47.7%), about 82 million, to be brown (43.1%) and 15 million who declared to be black (7.6%). The number of yellow person reached almost 2 million (1.1%) and that of Indians, 817 thousand (0.4%).  The Indian population was concentrated (60.8%) in rural areas, whereas 15.6% of the total Brazilian population lived in these areas.  


Among persons aged 15 to 24 and attending an educational establishment, there was significant difference in the access of the population to teaching levels by color or race. In higher education, there were 31.1% of the white persons from this age group, whereas only 12.8% of the black and 13.4% of the brown ones. The Census also showed that the gap between age and level of schooling attended by the persons reached about 50% of the persons aged 15 to 24 years who were in elementary school, but who should be taking high school, at least.  


By observing the employment type of whites, browns and blacks, it was possible to see a bigger representation of persons who declared to be white among the groups with access to social security (employees with a signed employment record card, military and civil servants), as well as among employers (3.0% among whites, whereas 0.6% among blacks and 0.9% among browns).



67.7% of the elderly had some kind of disability in 2010


The 2010 Census delved into the investigation about the characteristics of disabled persons in Brazil, collecting, in the sample questionnaire applied to 6.2 million households, data relative to spatial distribution, age, sex, color or race, literacy, school attendance, level of schooling and labor characteristics.


In Brazil, out of about 45.6 million persons with at least one of the disabilities investigated, 38.5 million lived in urban areas and 7.1 million, in rural ones. In the analysis by sex, it was observed that 26.5% of the female population (25.8 million) had at least one type of disability, versus 21.2% of the male population (19.8 million). 


The 2010 Census also investigated the prevalence of at least one of the disabilities, by age group, and saw that it was 7.5% among children aged 0 to 14; 24.9% among persons aged 15 to 64 and 67.7% among those aged 65 years and over.  The biggest number of persons with at least one disability occurred in the population aged 40 to 59, and corresponded to approximately 17.4 million persons, being 7.5 million men and 9.9 million women.  


Schooling:  95.2% of the children with disabilities attend school 


For the population aged 15 years and over with at least one of the disabilities investigated, the literacy rate was 81.7%, a difference of 8.9 percentage points in relation to the total population in the same age group (90.6%). The Southeast Region recorded the highest literacy rate of this population (88.2%) and the Northeast Region, the lowest (69.7%).  


In relation to the level of schooling, 95.2% of the children aged 6 too 14 with disabilities were attending school, a figure 1,9 percentage points below the total of the population in this age group (97.1%). For the same population, at regional level, the highlight was the North Region, with the lowest schooling rate (93.3%), however, having the smallest difference between children with (94.0%) and without disability (93.3%), indicating that educational inclusion in the North Region is affected by some other factors, such as the transportation infrastructure.  The biggest difference was found in the South Region, 97.7% and 95.3%, respectively. 


When it comes to level of schooling, there is a more significant difference. Whereas 61.1% of the population aged 15 years and over, with disabilities, did not have instruction or had only incomplete elementary school, this percentage was 38.2% for persons in this age group who declared not to have any of the disabilities investigated, representing a difference of 22.9 percentage points.  The smallest difference occurred in complete higher education: 6.7% for the population aged 15 years and over with disability and 10.4% for the population without disability It is worth mentioning that, in the Southeast region, 8.5% of the population aged 15 and over with disability had complete higher education. 


Workers with disabilities made up 23.6% of the total employed persons 


In 2010, the employed population with at least one of the disabilities investigated represented 23.6% (20.4 million) of the total number of employed persons. Out of the 44.0 million persons with disability at active age (10 years and over), 53.8% (23.7 million) were not employed. In terms of the unemployed population (75.6 million), the population with disability represented 31.3%.  


Inequalities of gender in the labor market are reproduced among the disabled 


The indicator used to analyze the insertion of disabled persons in the labor market was the activity rate. It is the percentage of economically-active persons in the population aged 10 years and over; and the level of occupation, which is the percentage of persons aged 10 years and over employed in the week of reference. For the population with at least one of these disabilities, the activity rate was 60.3% for men, and 41.7% for women, with a difference of 18.6 percentage points. In terms of level of occupation, the difference was 19.5 percentage points: 57.3% for men versus 37.8% for women. 


In terms of activity rate by type of disability, mental disability was the most restraining type regarding participation in the labor market, both for men and women (whose activity rates were 22.2% and 16.1%, respectively).  Visual impairment was the type which least affected the activity rate, and ranged from 63.7% for men and 43.9% for women.  The same was observed for the employment level, which, in general, was 17.4% for persons with mental disability and 48.4% for persons with visual impairment.  


40.2% of the disabled persons employed had a signed employment record card 


Considering employment type and category of employment, it was observed that most persons aged 10 years and over with disability, employed in the week of reference, had a signed employment record card (40.2%), a difference of 9 percentage points in relation to the population without any type of disability (49.2%). The percentage of disabled workers who were self employed (27.4%), without a signed employment record card (22.5%), military or civil servants (5.9%) and unpaid (2.2%) are bigger than in the population without disability (20.8%, 20.6% and 5.5%; 1.7%, respectively) and in the category employer, the difference was 0.3 percentage points between the population without (2.1%) and with (1.8%) disability.  


Income: 46.4% of the persons aged 10 years and over with disabilities earned up to 1 minimum wage or had no income 


In relation to the nominal monthly income from work earned by persons aged 10 years and over employed in the week of reference, with at least one of the disabilities investigated, it was observed that 46.4% of this population earned up to one minimum wage or had no income, with a difference of more than nine percentage points compared with the population without any of these disabilities (37.1%).  The differences by existence of disability decrease in classes with higher ranges of income.


By including this analysis, type of disability, it was possible to see that, for persons aged 10 years and over with mental or motor disability, employed in the week of reference, the bigger percentage was found in classes of income range of more than half to one minimum wage (27.6% and 28.7%, respectively).  Most of the persons aged 10 years and over with visual or hearing disability, employed in the week of reference, were concentrated in the classes ranging between 1 and 2 minimum wages:  29.0% and 28.4%, respectively.




Social Communication
June 29, 2012

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