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Population Census

Candidates for enumerator can choose data collection area, four states offer positions in slums

Section: IBGE | Alerrandre Barros e Carlos Alberto Guimarães

January 17, 2022 09h00 AM | Last Updated: January 18, 2022 04h32 PM

  • At a glance

  • 2022 Census has more than one thousand specific positions to work in 76 slums and communities (subnormal agglomerates).
  • Positions are distributed in the municipalities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul.
  • IBGE suggests that Census data collection in these areas be made by enumerators who live
  • in their own localities.
  • Those enrolled in the Single Register for Social Programs (CadÚnico) and donors of bone marrow can request exemption of enrollment rate.
  • The other Brazilian agglomerates will also be enumerated, though they were included in wider work areas, which encompass other localities.
  • Concept of subnormal agglomerate is used since 1991.
  • First IBGE publication with specific data from slums is from the 1950 Census.
Senhor dos Passos Village, in Belo Horizonte (MG) - Photo: Helena Tallmann/IBGE News Agency

Enrollment for selection process of the 2022 Population Census with more than 200 thousand positions for enumerators and census agents finishes next Friday (21). The opportunities are distributed in nearly all the Brazilian municipalities and enrollment can be made on-line on the FGV website. In the major cities, candidates can select the area to work during enrollment. In four states (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul), more than one thousand positions were destined to subnormal agglomerates.

Known as favelas, stilt houses, invaded properties and types of shack, among other denominations, subnormal agglomerates are forms of irregular occupation of either public or private terrains, without any urban standard, lacking essential public services and located in areas with restrictions to occupation. In general, the population in those communities lives under poor socioeconomic, sanitation and dwelling conditions, which demand a greater attention and investment from the public authorities.

Dona Marta Hill, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) - Photo: Licia Rubinstein/IBGE News Agency

According to the IBGE, Brazil had 5,127,747 occupied housing units in 13,151 subnormal agglomerates in 2019. These communities were located in 734 municipalities in all the Brazilian states, including the Federal District. In 2010, they were 3,224,529 housing units in 6,329 subnormal agglomerates in 323 cities, according to the last Census. As the 2019 estimate was made to support the field work of the 2022 Census, we should wait the data collection to compare with 2010.

The IBGE suggests that the Census data collection in those areas be made by enumerators who live in their own communities. Specific positions for those communities were already available in 2010. “The idea is that those approved are perfectly acquainted with their work area, as well as with basic aspects of these places, like access, geography, safety and cultural characteristics,” clarifies José Francisco Teixeira Carvalho, head of the State Unit (UE) of Rio de Janeiro.

For the 2022 Census, scheduled to begin in the second semester, 1,063 positions of enumerator were destined in 76 work areas related to subnormal agglomerates in four FUs: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul. All the other areas mapped as agglomerates in the entire country will be enumerated as well, though the distribution of the work of enumerators will be made after calling those approved, following criteria adopted by each UE. 

Santa Tereza Hill, in Rio Grande (RS) - Photo: José Zasso/IBGE News Agency

“The preference for the creation of specific areas in this selection process was to where there is greater socioeconomic gap among neighbor areas,” explains Gabriel Teixeira Barros, operational coordinator of the Population Census in Rio de Janeiro. In the city of Rio de Janeiro, more than 40 work areas are located in slums, like Maré (120 positions for enumerator), Jacarezinho (33 positions) and Alemão Complex (60 positions).

Alemão Complex, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) - Photo: Tomaz Silva/Brasil Agency

“In Niterói, we decided to open nine specific work areas for communities, but not in São Gonçalo,” completes the coordinator. In Rocinha, the largest subnormal agglomerate in Brazil, with 25,742 housing units, according to the 2019 estimates, 65 positions are being offered. On the other hand, there are no specific positions in the Sol Nascente community (25,441 houses) in Brasília, since the Census team in the Federal District preferred to freely allocate the professionals.

The same approach was followed in Salvador, Bahia. The Amaralina I area, for example, includes agglomerates like the neighborhoods of Northeast of Amaralina and Vale das Pedrinhas, but also middle-class neighborhoods like Pituba and Rio Vermelho. “We will make a specific communication strategy in order to local people to enroll in the selection process and work in those areas,” comments André Urpia, manager of Planning and Management and deputy head of the UE of Bahia.

“The major challenges to enumerate those territories are due to the characteristics of the occupation,” explains Cayo Franco, IBGE´s general manager of Geography. “In denser areas of self-built urban standards, enumerators may find difficulties to locate himself and cover the enumeration area, due to irregular arrangement of the alleys, as well as to the lack of identification of the addresses,” analyzes the geographer, adding that they should be also aware of the presence of households in the back of lots and slabs. “For these reasons, it is important to have enumerators that previously know those territories and their residents, because they guarantee that nobody will be left behind,” states him.

Every selection process for the 2022 Census allows the exemption of the enrollment rate by persons enrolled in the Single Register for Social Programs of the Federal Government (CadÚnico) and donors of bone marrow. After the request is sent, it will be assessed by the organizing company. 

Concept of subnormal agglomerate is adopted since 1991

The first publication of the IBGE dealing with those communities dates back to 1953, when the “Slums of the Federal District and the 1950 Population Census” volume was released. It established that 7.2% of the population in Rio de Janeiro (then the Federal District) lived in slums, the equivalent to 169,305 people. Since then, that issue gained more dimension and complexity with the acceleration of the urbanization in Brazil.

The concept of subnormal agglomerate was used for the first time in the 1991 Population Census. It has certain degree of generalization in order to encompass the diversity of irregular settlements existing in Brazil, known as favelas, invaded properties, slums in deep valleys, slums in low-lands, communities, slums in villages, types of shack and stilt houses, among others.

In the last Population Census, carried out in 2010, the IBGE introduced methodological and operational innovations aiming at updating and improving the identification of agglomerates. High-resolution satellite images were used to find parts of the municipalities with a morphology typical of subnormal agglomerates, later investigated in the field to confirm the characteristics.

“For the 2022 Census, the IBGE improved the methodologies with the use of more frequent and precise satellite images, as well as with the contact with the municipalities and the surveying activities in the field,” states Cayo Franco. “It is part of the continuous improvement of the IBGE´s Territorial Base,” concludes him.

Brás Pina Slum -  Brasil Avenue (RJ) - 1948 - IBGE Archive
Aspect of the Parada de Lucas Slum -  Brasil Avenue (RJ) - 1948 - IBGE Archive
Aspect of the Catacumba Slum (RJ) - IBGE Archive
Rocinha Slum (RJ) - 1958 - IBGE Archive
Rocinha Slum (RJ) - 1958 - IBGE Archive


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