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Population Estimates

One out of three Brazilians lives in 48 municipalites with more than 500 thousand inhabitants

Section: Social Statistics | Diana Paula de Souza | Design: Helga Szpiz

August 28, 2019 09h00 AM | Last Updated: August 29, 2019 03h44 PM

66.5 million Brazilians live in 48 cities - Photo: Pedro Girão

Nearly 66.5 million Brazilians (31.7%) live in the 48 municipalities with more than 500 thousand inhabitants (0.9% of 5,570 municipalities). The 2019 Population Estimates, disclosed by the IBGE, show that the municipalities which grow faster have between 100,000 and 1 million inhabitants and that the smaller the municipality, the lower the average growth rate. However, the larger municipalities, over 1 million inhabitants, present growth slightly below the average of Brazil.

“That is due to incentives to migration from small to big municipalities, with more job offers, services and studying opportunities. On the other hand, the bigger municipalities, while having more economic dynamism, also present factors of population exodus, such as a higher cost of living. This struggle of opposite forces ends up forcing the municipalities close to greater urban centers to absorb larger portions of the migrant population in search for  better living conditions”, claims survey manager Izabel Marri.

The population concentration trend shown by the IBGE is not restricted, however, to the big cities. Nearly 54.2 million persons (25.8%) live in the 276 municipalities with 100 thousand to 500 thousand inhabitants (4.4%). Joining the two population ranges, more than half of its  total (57.4% or 120.4 million) is in the 324 municipalities with more than 100 thousand inhabitants (5.8% of the municipalities).

On the other hand, the majority of the municipalities (68.2% or 3,797) have up to 20 thousand inhabitants and concentrate 15.3% of the  whole population of the country (32.0 million inhabitants).

Of the 17 municipalities with population above one million inhabitants, 14 are state capitals. They concentrate 21.9% of the population. São Paulo is still the most populous municipality, with 12.3 million inhabitants, followed by Rio de Janeiro (6.7 million), Brasília (3.0 million) and Salvador (2.9 million).

Among the less populous municipalities, 25 have less than 1.5 mil inhabitants. Three of them: Serra da Saudade (MG), with 781 inhabitants, Borá (SP), with 837 inhabitants, and Araguainha (MT), with 935 inhabitants.

Brazil has 210.1 million inhabitants
According to population estimates, on July 1st of 2019, Brazil had with 210.1 million inhabitants (1.6 million more than in 2018). The state of São Paulo, with 45.9 million, concentrates 21.9% of the total of the country, followed by Minas Gerais (21.2 million) and by Rio de Janeiro (17.3 million).

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