Continuous PNAD 2019: earnings from richest 1% correspond to 33.7 times what half the population in low-income classes earn

May 06, 2020 10h00 AM | Last Updated: May 22, 2020 10h04 AM

In 2019, the real average monthly earnings from work of the 1% of the population with the highest income was R$28,659, which corresponds to 33.7 times the income of the 50% of the population with the lowest income (R$850).

In 2019, the usual monthly wage bill was nearly R$213.4 billion, 2.2% higher than he one estimated for 2018 and 12.0% higher than that of 2012. The real monthly household wage bill per capita was R$294.4 billion. The 10% share with the lowest earnings in the population had 0.8% of the wage bill, whereas the 10% with the highest earnings held 42.9%.

The number of persons with earnings from all jobs increased from 43.4% of the population (90.1 million) in 2018 for 44.1% (92.5 million) in 2019.

Retirement pensions and benefits were paid to 14.7% of the population in 2019, showing stability in relation to 2018 (14.6%) and increasing 1.6 percentage points over 2012 (13.1%).

The real average earnings from all sources, after having increased 2.8% in 2018 (to R$2.247), was nearly unchanged in 2019 (R$2,244). The Southeast recorded the highest value (R$2,645) followed by the South (R$2,499) and Central_west (R$2,498), whereas the lowest values were in the Northeast (R$1,510) and in the North (R$1,601).

In 2019, inequalities are still strong in terms of real monthly average earnings from all jobs of white (R$2,999), brown (R$1,719) and black (R$1,673) persons. Gender differences also remain: the earnings from all jobs of men (R$2,555) is 28.7% higher than that of the women (R$1,985).

The average earnings of workers with a higher degree (R$5,108) was nearly 3 times higher than the one of those with complete secondary education (R$1,788) and around 6 times bigger than uneducated workers (R$ 918).

The percentage of households assisted by the Bolsa Família dropped from 13.7% in 2018 to 13.5% in 2019. In 2012, 15.9% of the households of the country was eligible to receive the Bolsa Família income transfer program. The other income transfer program in 2019 in Brazil, BPC-LOAS, was destined to 3.7% of the households in the country, basically the same figure of 2018 (3.6%) and 1.1 percentage points above that of  2012 (2.6%).

The Gini Index the per capita household earnings had a light decrease between 2018 and 2019, changing from 0.545 to 0.543. However, the Gini for earnings from all sources was stable at 0.509 in the same period, keeping at the highest level since 2012.

This information was taken from the PNAD survey module Earnings from All Sources from the Continuous National Household Sample Survey.

In 2019, there were 209.5 million persons living in the Country, of whom the greatest part was concentrates in the Southeast (42.2%) and Central-West (7.7%), the lowest part. The others represented 27.2% (Northeast) 14.3% (South) and 8.6% (North).

The ones who had some sort of income were 131.2 million (62.6% of the population ), with the South presenting the highest percentage in all the years of the series (68.1%), whereas the North (54.5%) and Northeast (58.5%), the lowest.

14.7% of the population receive retirement pensions and welfare benefits

The number of persons with earnings from all jobs increased from 43.4% of the population (90.1 million) in 2018 to 44.1% (92.5 million) in 2019. The percentage of earnings from other sources went from 24.9% (51.8 million) to 25.1% (52.7 million) in the period.

The South Region recorded the highest percentage of persons with usual earnings from all jobs (49.1%) and posted the second highest percentage with earnings from other sources (26.5%). On the other hand, the Northeast had the lowest percentage of persons with earnings from all jobs (36.6%) in 2019 and the highest percentage of those who received from other sources (28.4%).

Among the other sources, retirement pensions and welfare benefits reached 14.7% of the population in 2019. There was relative stability in this index in relation to 2018 (14.6%) but increase of 1.6 percentage points in relation to 2012 (13.1%). For this category, the highest percentage is in the South (18.3%) and the lowest, in the North (8.8%).

Unemployment insurance, government income transfer programs and savings profitability ( other earnings ) integrate the income of 7.8% of Brazilians;  alimony, donation or allowance , 2.5%; and  rental and leasing , 2.1%.

The percentage of persons receiving other earnings was a highlight in the North (10.2%) and in the Northeast (12.1%) with figures above the country's average (7.8%). In the North, this percentage was even above the one which received from any of the other income sources other than  work, which is not seen in the other regions.

Earning from other sources of the Southeast is 75.2% higher than in the Northeast.

The real average earnings from all sources held stable. The value had growth of 5.0% from 2012 to 2014, going from R$ 2.150 to R$2,258; a decrease of 3.1% in 2015, going to R$2,188 and keeping relatively stable until 2017; and high of 2.8% in 2018, when it went from R$2,185 to R$2,247. In 2019, it stood at R$2,244.

The Southeast recorded the highest value (R$2,645), followed by the South (R$2,499) and Central-West (R$2,498). However, the lowest values were in the Northeast (R$1,510) and in the North (R$1,601), with differences above R$1 thousand in relation to other regions.

From 2018 to 2019, there reduction of 6.4% in the earnings from all sources in the North and increase of 3.1% in the Northeast. In the other regions the changes stood below 1.0%.

Conversely, the real monthly average earnings from all jobs was R$2,308 in 2019. The highest value of the series occurred in 2014, when it reached R$2,364. After the decrease of 4.1% in 2015 (R$2,267), stood practically stable in the years 2016 and 2017, it recorded expansion of 2.3% in 2018 (R$2,317) and then retreated (R$2,308) in 2019.

The Northeast (R$1,588) and North (R$1,687) also recorded the lowest values for the usual earnings from work, while the highest ones were reported in the Southeast (R$2,650), Central-West (R$2,506) and South (R$2,549).

In turn, the real monthly average earnings coming from other sources accrued a gain of 1.9% from 2012 (R$1,442) to 2015 (R$1,469). It recorded a loss of 1.2% in 2016 (R$1,452), which was reversed in the two subsequent years, hitting an average value of R$1,534 in 2018 and R$ 1,539 in 2019. The North recorded the lowest average (R$1,014), whereas the Southeast (R$1,891), the biggest one in 2019.

Retirement pensions and welfare benefits was the category with the highest average among the other sources (R$1,963), in all regions. The Central-West recorded the highest value (R$2,403) and the Northeast (R$1,625), the lowest one. The growth of this category was of 1.1% between 2018 and 2019 and of 8.5% in relation to 2012.

The earnings coming from rental and leasing posted an average value of R$1,679 and dropped against 2018 (0.7%) and 2012 (5.0%). Alimony, donation or allowance from non-residents added up to, on average, R$642, 2.6% lower than the estimated value for 2018 and 6.3% higher in comparison with 2012.

The persons who declared to have other earnings, used to receive on average R$606, which represents stability in relation to 2018 (0.3%) and decrease (10.4%) over 2012. The value of other earnings was higher in the Southeast Region (R$888) and lower in the Northeast Region (R$396).

Per capita household earnings has work as main source

The per capita monthly average household earnings in 2019 was 72.5% comprising income from all jobs. The 27.5% coming from other sources were mostly split into earnings from retirement or pension (20.5%), but also in rental and lease (2.5%), alimony, donation or allowance from non-resident (1.1%) and other earnings (3.4%).

Up to 2014, the parcel of the earnings from all jobs in the per capita household increased, hitting 75.2% this year. From 2015 onwards, the share of other sources of earnings increased, mainly due to the increase of the share of retirements and pensions, which reached 20.5% in 2018 and 2019.

The contribution of earnings from all jobs was lower in the Northeast (65.8%) and the highest, in the Central-West (76.3%). Income from retirement pensions and welfare benefits had a lowers participation in the North (16.7%) and Central-West (17.5%) and a higher one in the Northeast (25.5%), South (20.4%) and in the Southeast (19.7%).

The per capita monthly real average household earnings was R$1,406 in 2019 and R$1,387 in 2018. North and Northeast recorded the lowest values (R$872 and R$884) and the Southeast the highest (R$1,720).

Between 2018 and 2019, just the North record reduction in the per capita average household earnings (-5.3%). The Northeast, in turn, had the highest increase in the period (4.5%).

Gini of per capita household earnings had slight decrease

In 2019, the Gini index of the per capita real monthly average household earnings for Brazil was estimated at 0.543. The Gini index of the per capita household earnings reduced between 2012 and 2015 (from 0.540 to 0.524), which was reversed from 2016 onwards, when the Gini index increased to 0.537, reaching 0.545 in 2018, the highest figure of the series.

The Northeast had the highest inequality measured by the Gini Index in 2019 (0.559), and was the only one where the index grew between 2018 and 2019. The South Region posted the smallest rate (0.467) and the North, the highest reduction in the period (from 0.551 to 0.537).

Gini for work kept at the highest level of the series

The Gini index of the real usual monthly average earnings from all jobs was 0.509 in 2019. Between 2012 and 2015, there was a reduction trend of the indicator, going from 0.508 to 0.494. As of 2016, however, the index started increasing again to reach 0.501, a figure which was kept in 2017, having achieved 0.509 in the last two years of the series.

The South (0.451) and Central-West (0.485) Regions recorded the lowest indexes and, in the Northeast, the figure was 0.531 in 2019. From 2018 to 2019, the North (from 0.517 to 0.504) and, to a lesser extent, the Southeast (from 0.508 to 0.504) and the Central-West (from 0.486 to 0.485) had a reduction in this indicator, while in the Northeast and South Regions there was increase in the index, with a highlight to the first, which went from 0.520 to 0.531.

Black persons have earnings 27.5% lower than the national average

 The average real monthly income of all jobs of men (R $ 2,555) is about 28.7% higher than that of women (R $ 1,985) on average Brazilian. In the North and Northeast, the differences of earnings between men and women are quite small: R$1,736 against R$1,608 in the first and 1,683 against 1,456 in the second.  In the South, the difference is bigger: R$2,894 of men against R$2,107 of women.

There are discrepancies also in terms of real monthly average earnings from all jobs of white (R$2,999), brown (R$1,719) and black (R$1,673) persons. In 2019, white persons had incomes 29.9% higher than the national average (R$2,308), while browns, 25.5% lower and black, 27.5% lower.

Higher degree makes income up to three times higher against secondary education degree

The higher the schooling level, the higher the income: The persons who did not have any education registered the lowest average earnings (R$918). On the other hand, earnings of persons with complete primary education or equivalent was 60.3% higher, reaching R$1,472. Those who had complete higher education recorded average earnings nearly three times higher (R$5.108) than those with only complete secondary education (R$1.788) and nearly six times than those without any education.

Southeast's wage bill is three times bigger than other regions'

In 2019, the usual real monthly average earnings from all jobs added up to a monthly wage bill 2,2% higher than that estimated to 2018, standing at nearly R$213.4 billion. The wage bill had expansion between 2012 and 2014, dropped between 2015 and 2017 and recovered by 6.2% between 2017 and 2019. Compared to 2012, the wage bill recorded expansion of 12.0%.

The Southeast recorded the largest mass of monthly income in 2019 (R$111.5 billion), followed by the South (R$37.4 billion), whose value, however, corresponded to one third of that recorded in the first. The lowest wage bill was recorded in the North (33.1 billion).

The per capita monthly household wage bill reached R$294.4 billion in 2019, while in 2018, this value was R$288.1 billion. The share of the 10% poorest had 0.8% of the wage bill. On the other hand, the richest 10% held a 42.9%, above the wage bill of the 80% of the population with the lowest earnings (41.5%).

The Southeast had the largest per capita household wage bill in the country (R$151.9 billion), which corresponded to 51.6% of the total and about three times the wage bill of the South (R$50.9 billion) or from the Northeast (R$50.3 billion). The wage bill in the North (R$15.8 billion), the lowest in the country, represented 10.4% of that of the Southeast and that of the Central-West (R$25.5 billion), 16.8%.

Between 2018 and 2019, only the North Region showed a reduction in the per capita household wage bill (-4.0%), while the Northeast Region was the one that presented the highest growth (5.1%), followed by the South Region (3.2%).

Earnings of the richest 1% is 33.7 times that of the poorest 50%

Half of the workers with the lowest earnings receives on average R$850. Against 2018, the earnings stood practically stable (R$851); whereas in the comparison with 2012, it increased by 4.3% on the national average (R$815).

In the regional analysis, there are relevant differences in the magnitude f the local earnings. The South (R $ 1,102), in 2019, had the highest average income from work for half of the population with the lowest income, and the North (R $ 633) and the Northeast (R $ 569), the lowest. Between 2018 and 2019, only the North did not show an increase in this indicator (decrease of 5.0%). Among the other regions, the South showed the highest growth in the average income of the 50% of the population with the lowest income (9.0%).

 The  analysis of the concentration of income showed, in 2019, that people who were in the last income percentile, that is, those who were part of the 1% of the population with the highest income (whose average real monthly income was R$28,659) received, on average, 33.7 times the income of half the population with the lowest income (R$850) - the second largest ratio in the series, only behind the estimated ratio for 2018 (33.8 times).

From 2012 to 2019, the classes comprising the poorest 20% registered a negative change, especially the first range (decrease of 3.0%); while those from 20% to 30% onwards had gains that reached 8.5% for this group and 6.3% for the share of the richest 1% of the population.

On the other hand, in the comparison between 2018 and 2019, the first two income ranges (up to 10%) showed growth of around 1.5%, recording an oscillation in the subsequent classes with a small reduction in the income of the richest 1%  (-0.5%).

Inequality indicator remains at the peak of the series

The Gini index is an indicator that measures concentration and economic inequality and ranges from 0 (perfect equality) to 1 (maximum concentration and inequality). When calculated for the average monthly earnings from all jobs, it remained at 0.509 in 2019. The index had dropped between 2012 (0.508) and 2015 (0.494), but rose to 0.501 in 2016, keeping the same value in 2017 , and then went to 0.509 in 2018.

The South (0.451) and the Central-West (0.485) had the lowest indexes and the Northeast the highest (0.531). From 2018 to 2019, the North (from 0.517 to 0.504) and, to a lesser extent, the Southeast (from 0.508 to 0.504) and the Central-West (from 0.486 to 0.485) had a reduction in this indicator, while in the Northeast and South there was increase in the index, with a highlight to the Northeast, which went from 0.520 to 0.531.

The Gini index of per capita household earnings for Brazil, on the other hand, was estimated at 0.543 - a drop from the highest value in the series: 0.545 in 2018. The Northeast, with the highest inequality (0.559), was the only region where there was increase in the index in 2019. On the other hand, the South had the lowest index (0.467) and the North the largest reduction (from 0.551 to 0.537).

Access to goods and services is lower among beneficiaries of government cash transfer programs

In Brazil, 13.5% of permanent private households received, in 2019, money related to the Bolsa Família Program, against 13.7% in 2018. This proportion was 15.9% of households in 2012 and has been decreasing each year .

The North and Northeast regions had the highest proportions of households with beneficiaries of the program: 25.0% and 27.6%, respectively. On the other hand, the South had the lowest proportion (4.7%). The Northeast suffered the largest proportional reduction (-6.1%) of households with beneficiaries of the program between 2012 and 2019.

The Continued Cash Benefit (BPC-LOAS) was received by 3.7% of households in the country in 2019, a percentage practically the same as that of 2018 (3.6%) and 1.1 percentage point above that of 2012 (2.6 %).

The North and Northeast again had the highest percentages (6.0% and 5.6%, respectively). However, between 2012 and 2019, there was an increase in the proportion of households with BPC beneficiaries in all regions, especially in the North (2 percentage points).

The per capita monthly household earnings in the households that received the Bolsa Família Program was R$352 and in those that did not receive it, it was R$1,641. For households that received the BPC-LOAS, the average per capita household income was R$755 and, for those that did not, R$1,433.

Access to basic services in households that received any of the programs was also different from those that did not. Among those with Bolsa Família, for example, 39.5% had sewage linked to the general system or septic tank connected to the general system, whereas in households that did not receive it, 72.2% had the service.

The same behavior was verified in relation to the ownership of goods, mainly washing machines and desktop computers. While among households that received the Bolsa Família in 2019, 32.0% had a washing machine and 12.6% had a deskpot computer, among those who did not receive it, 71.4% had a washing machine and 45.6% had a desktop computer.

Per capita real monthly average household earnings and ownership or access to goods or services by cash transfer programs of the Federal Government
Ownership or access to goods or services Cash transfer programs of the Federal Government
Recieving Bolsa Família Not receiving Bolsa Família Revceiving BPC-LOAS Not receiving BPC-LOAS
Per capita real monthly average household earnings (1) 352 1641 755 1433
Access to services (%)
Water supply from general network 71.6 87.7 80.2 85.7
Sanitary sewer service with  general network, stormwater network or septic tank linked to network 39.5 72.2 55.5 68.3
Waste collection 76.1 93.7 87.6 91.5
Lighting 99.2 99.8 99.7 99.8
Onewrship of goods (%)
Refrigerator 95.3 98.6 96.5 98.2
Washing macinhe 32.0 71.4 45.8 66.9
TV 94.0 96.5 94.5 96.3
Computer 12.6 45.6 17.0 42.1
(1) At prices (R$) of 2019.