Blacks and browns are more educated, though inequality in relation to white persons remains

November 13, 2019 10h00 AM | Last Updated: November 21, 2019 04h34 PM

In 2018, blacks and browns became 50.3% of the students of higher education in the public network. As they were the majority of the population (55.8%), they remained underrepresented.

Among the black and brown population aged between 18 and 24 years who studied, the percentage of those attending higher education increased between 2016 (50.5%) and 2018 (55.6%), though still below the percentage of white persons in the same age bracket (78.8%).

In this same period, the percentage of black and brown youngsters aged between 18 and 24 years with less than 11 years of study and who did not attend school fell between 2016 (30.8%) and 2018 (28.8%). This indicator was 17.4% among the white persons in 2018.

In the labor market, blacks and browns represented 64.2% of the unemployed population and 66.1% of the underutilized population. While 34.6% of the white workers were employed in informal jobs, this percentage was 47.3% among the black and brown persons.

The monthly average earnings of the employed white persons (R$2,796) was 73.9% higher than those of the black and brown population (R$1,608). The white persons who completed higher education earned hourly wages 45% higher than the blacks and browns with the same schooling level.

The inequality was also present in the distribution of managerial positions, in which only 29.9% of them were exerted by black and brown persons.

Concerning income distribution, the blacks and browns represented 75.2% of the group formed by those 10% of the population with the lowest earnings and only 27.7% of those 10% of the population with the highest earnings.

While 44.5% of the black and brown population lived in houses lacking at least one service of basic sanitation, this percentage was 27.9% among the white persons.

Blacks and browns suffered more with violence. The rate of homicides of the blacks and browns surpassed that of white persons in every age bracket. The rate of homicides for blacks and browns aged between 15 and 29 years hit 98.5 in 2017, against 34.0 for white persons. The rate was 185.0 for male black and brown youngsters.

The political representation does not present color or race equality as well, as only 24.4% of the elected federal representatives, 28.9% of the elected state representatives and 42.1% of the elected councilors were black or brown persons.

These data are from the Social Inequalities by Color or Race in Brazil study, which brings an analysis of the inequalities between white persons and black or brown persons associated with labor, income distribution, housing, education, violence and political representation. For more information, please access the complete publication and the support material.

As the statistical restrictions imposed to the indigenous and yellows due to their low representation in the Brazilian population whenever sampling data are used, the analyses of this study are narrowed down to the inequalities between white persons and blacks or browns. In 2018, 43.1% of the Brazilian population was white; 9.3%, black; and 46.5%, brown. Those three groups together accounted for 99% of the total number of residents in Brazil.

Education: Percentage of black and brown students increases in higher education, though color or race inequality remains

Among the black and brown youngsters aged between 18 and 24 years who studied, the proportion of those attending higher education, the level appropriate for this age bracket, increased between 2016 (50.5%) and 2018 (55.6%), though this level was still below that of 78.8% of the white students in the same age bracket in higher education.

In any event, the black and brown students became the majority in the higher education institutions of the public network (50.3%) in 2018 in Brazil. Nevertheless, they remained under-represented as they accounted for 55.9% of the Brazilian population.

In the population aged between 18 and 24 years, attending or not school, the percentage of white persons who either attended or had already completed higher education (36.1%) was nearly twice that of black and brown youngsters (18.3%).

The enrollment rate in higher education – percentage of the population who completed at least the secondary education and who enrolled in higher education, regardless of completing it or not – of the blacks and browns was 35.4% and that of the white persons, 53.2%.

The completion rate of secondary education – proportion of persons aged between 20 and 22 years who completed this level – of the black and brown population was 61.8% and that of white persons, 76.8%. Although women show better educational indicators than men of the same color or race, the completion rate of secondary education of the white men (72.0%) was higher than that of black and brown women (67.6%).

Among the youngsters aged between 18 and 24 years with complete secondary education who were not attending school as they either needed to work or search for a job, 61.8% were blacks or browns.

The illiteracy rate of the black and brown persons decreased from 9.8% (2016) to 9.1% (2018), though it was still higher than that of white persons (3.9%).

Between 2016 and 2018, the illiteracy rate of the black and brown persons aged 15 years and over changed from 9.8% to 9.1%, though it was still higher than that of white persons (3.9%). In that same period, the proportion of persons aged 25 years and over who at least completed secondary education rose from 37.3% to 40.3%. That percentage was 55.8% among the white population.

The attendance to daycare or school of black and brown children aged between 0 and 5 years increased from 49.1% (2016) to 53.0% (2018), whereas that of white children was 55.8%. There was no virtual difference between the proportion of white children aged between 6 and 10 years (96.5%) and that of black and brown children (95.8%) attending the first years of the primary school.

Possibly indicating a dropout, the proportion of black and brown persons aged between 18 and 24 years with less than 11 schooling years and who did not attend school fell from 30.8% (2016) to 28.8% (2018). That percentage was 17.4% among the white persons.

Labor Market: Blacks and browns are 64% of the unemployed

In 2018, black and brown persons accounted for 54.9% of the Brazilian workforce (57.7 million persons) and white persons, 43.9% (46.1 million). Nevertheless, the black and brown population accounted for 64.2% of the unemployed persons and 66.1% of those underutilized. In addition, while 34.6% of the employed population of white color was in informal jobs, this percentage hit 47.3% for the black and brown workers.

The compound underutilization rate of the black and brown population (29.0%) was higher than that of white persons (18.8%). The inequality remained even considering the view by schooling level. Among those who had at least higher education, that rate was 15.0% for the black and brown persons and 11.5% for the white persons, and among those either without education or with incomplete primary education: 32.9% and 22.4%, respectively.

Blacks and browns earn less than white persons regardless of schooling level

The monthly average earnings of the employed white persons (R$2,796) was 73.9% higher than those of the black and brown population (R$1,608). Black and brown persons earned less than white workers both in the formal and informal jobs.

While the average earnings of the employed white workers hit R$17.0 per hour, those of the black and brown workers was R$10.1 per hour. Employed black and brown persons received earnings by worked hour less than those of white workers, regardless of the schooling level. White persons who completed higher education earned 45% more than blacks and browns with the same schooling level.

Concerning the earnings ratio, white men stood out among the other combinations. The biggest distance happened when compared with black and brown women, who earned less than half that of white men (44.4%).

Only 29.9% of managerial positions are exerted by blacks and browns

In 2018, the proportion of white persons (68.6%) in managerial positions was bigger than that of black and browns (29.9%). The proportion of blacks and browns in managerial positions was bigger only in the North (61.1%) and Northeast (56.3%). As those percentages are lower than the proportion of blacks and browns in the employed population of those regions (78.0% and 74.1%), an under-representation was also characterized.

The division into five classes of earnings from main job revealed that the higher the earnings, the less the occurrence of blacks and browns employed in managerial positions. In the highest income class, only 11.9% of the persons employed in managerial positions were blacks or browns and 85.9%, white persons. On the other hand, in the managerial positions with the lowest income, 45.3% were blacks or browns and 53.2%, white persons.

Income distribution: Blacks and browns represent 75.2% of the group comprising 10% of the population with the lowest earnings

In 2018, only 27.7% were blacks or browns among the 10% of the population with the highest earnings. On the other hand, blacks and browns represented 75.2% of the group comprising 10% of the population with the lowest earnings The per capita household average earnings of the white population (R$1,846) was nearly twice those of the of black and brown population (R$934).

The proportion of blacks and browns with earnings below the poverty lines, proposed by the World Bank, was more than twice the proportion of white persons. In the line of US$5.50 per day, the poverty rate was 15.4% for white persons and 32.9% for black and brown persons. In the line of extreme poverty, while 3.6% of the white persons earned below US$1.90 per day, 8.8% of the black and brown population was below this line.

Housing conditions: 44.5% of the blacks and browns live in houses lacking at least one basic sanitation service

The 2010 Census pointed out that 18.7% of the blacks and browns lived in subnormal agglomerates in the municipality of São Paulo~, whereas this percentage was 7.3% among white persons. In the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, 30.5% of the blacks and browns lived in subnormal agglomerates, whereas this percentage was 14.3% among white persons.

In 2018, 44.5% of the black and brown population lived in houses lacking at least one basic sanitation service (garbage collection, water supply through a network and sewage disposal through a network). That percentage was 27.9% among white persons.

The excessive household densification – more than three residents per each room used as dormitory in the housing unit – took place among blacks and browns with a frequency (7.0%) nearly twice that registered among white persons (3.6%). The excessive burden with rent – value of the rental equals to or surpasses 30% of the household income – hit 5.0% of the blacks and browns and 4.6% of the white persons.

The occurrence of those two inadequacies was much more common among household arrangements comprising women without a spouse and with children up to 14 years of age. Among the black and brown population within that type of arrangement, the existence of excessive densification was 11.9% and that of excessive burden with rent, 13.6%.

In 2018, 44.8% of the black and brown population lived in houses without a washing machine, whereas this percentage was 21.0% among the white population. It was an evidence that the black and brown population, especially women, has a bigger burden of domestic work, like laundry, among other unpaid works.

Violence: blacks and browns have 2.7 more chance of being victims of homicides than the white persons

The homicide rate – ration between the total number of homicides registered in the Ministry of Health´s Information System of Mortality - SIM for a certain year and the total population in the same year, multiplied by 100 thousand inhabitants – was 16.0 for white persons and 43.4 for blacks and browns in Brazil in 2017. In other words, a black or brown person had 2.7 more chance of being a victim of a homicide than a white person.

The time series also unveiled that, while the rate remained stable for white persons, it increased for blacks and browns between 2012 (37.2) and 2018 (43.4), which represented nearly 255 thousand deaths by homicide registered in SIM in six years.

The rate of homicides of the blacks and browns surpassed that of white persons in every age bracket. The rate of homicides for blacks and browns aged between 15 and 29 years hit 98.5 in 2017, against 34.0 for white persons. The rate was 185.0 for male black and brown youngsters.

More than half of the black and brown students study in establishments located in risk areas in terms of violence

The National Survey of School Health - PeNSE 2015 brought a number of indicators about students attending the 9th grade of the primary level unveiling that blacks and browns underwent more violent experiences than the white students.

When asked whether they had been involved in fights in which someone used a firearm, in the 30 days before the survey, the answer was positive for 4.9% of the white students and for 6.2% of the blacks and browns. When the fights involved melee weapons, the percentages were 7.0% and 8.4%, respectively. In addition, 13.1% of the white students and 15.1% of the blacks and browns had been physically assaulted by an adult in their families at one time, in the 30 days before the survey.

Still according to PeNSE 2015, 13.1% of the white students of the 9th grade of the primary level and 15.4% of the blacks and browns did not go to school due to the lack of security in the home-school route or within the school, in the 30 days before the survey. More than half of the black and brown students (53.9%) studied in establishments located in risk areas in terms of violence; this percentage was 45.7% among the white students. The difference was steeper when comparing the black and brown students of private schools (40.7%) with white students (29.5%).

Political representation: only 24.4% of the elected federal representatives, 28.9% of the elected state representatives and 42.1% of the elected councilors are either black or brown persons

In Brazil, the black and brown population was under-represented in the House of Representatives, state legislative assemblies and city councils: only 24.4% of the federal representatives and 28.9% of the state representatives elected in 2018 and 42.1% of the councilors elected in 2016 were either blacks or browns.

In a situation of perfect balance, the ratio between the proportion of black and brown representatives elected by one unit and the proportion of persons of the same color or race would be equal to 1.0. Nevertheless, that ratio was lower than 1.0 in the 2018 elections in all the Federation Units. Amazonas (0.93) and Rondônia (0.90) reached the lowest level of under-representation. Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul did not have any elected federal representative who self-declared either black or brown to the Electoral Justice.

It was not possible to attribute the under-representation of this population group only to the absence of available candidacies, at least concerning the proportional legislative elections from 2014 to 2018. There was a bigger proportion of candidacies of black and brown persons for the offices of federal representative (41.8%), state representative (49.6%) and councilors (48.7%) than candidates with such profile effectively elected.

Nevertheless, while 9.7% of the candidacies to federal representative of white persons counted on a revenue equal to or above 1 million reais, only 2.7% of the candidacies of black and brown persons counted on this value. Among the candidacies that counted on revenue equal to or above 1 million reais, only 16.2% of them were of black and brown candidates.

In 2018, black and brown women comprised 2.5% of the federal representatives and 4.8% of the state representatives elected and, in 2016, 5.0% of the councilors. Considering only the elected women, they were 16.9%, 31.1% and 36.8%, respectively.