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IBGE releases population estimate of municipalities for 2020

August 27, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: August 28, 2020 03h37 PM

The IBGE released today the estimates of the resident population for the 5,570 Brazilian municipalities, based on the reference date of July 1, 2020. On this date, the Brazilian population reached 211.8 million inhabitants, growing 0.77% in relation to 2019.

The municipality of São Paulo remained as the most populated, with 12.3 million inhabitants, followed by Rio de Janeiro (6.75 million), Brasília (3.05 million) and Salvador (2.88 million). The 17 Brazilian municipalities with a population above one million inhabitants concentrated 21.9% of the national population and 14 of them were state capitals.

Serra da Saudade (MG) was the less populated Brazilian municipality (776 inhabitants), followed by Borá (SP), with 838 inhabitants, Araguainha (MT), with 946 inhabitants, and Engenho Velho (RS), with 982 inhabitants.

In the last decade, the Estimates pointed to a gradual increase in the number of large municipalities in Brazil. In the 2010 Census, only 38 municipalities had a population above 500 thousand inhabitants and only 15 of them had more than 1 million residents. In 2020, 49 Brazilian municipalities had more than 500 thousand inhabitants, 17 of them surpassing the mark of 1 million inhabitants.

1st SP São Paulo 12,325,232
2nd RJ Rio de Janeiro 6,747,815
3rd DF Brasília 3,055,149
4th BA Salvador 2,886,698
5th CE Fortaleza 2,686,612
6th MG Belo Horizonte 2,521,564
7th AM Manaus 2,219,580
8th PR Curitiba 1,948,626
9th PE Recife 1,653,461
10th GO Goiânia 1,536,097
11th PA Belém 1,499,641
12th RS Porto Alegre 1,488,252
13th SP Guarulhos 1,392,121
14th SP Campinas 1,213,792
15th MA São Luís 1,108,975
16th RJ São Gonçalo 1,091,737
17th AL Maceió 1,025,360
TOTAL 46,400,712
% in relation to the whole Brazil 21.9%
TOTAL BRAZIL 211,755,692
Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas - DPE, Coordenação de População e Indicadores Sociais - COPIS.

Excluding the 23 capitals that have a population above this figure, 26 municipalities had more than 500 thousand inhabitants. They were distributed along the states of São Paulo (8), Rio de Janeiro (6), Minas Gerais (3), Espírito Santo (2), Pernambuco (1), Bahia (1), Santa Catarina (1), Goiás (1), Paraná (1), Pará (1) and Rio Grande do Sul (1).

On the other side, Brazil had 30 municipalities with a population below 1,500 inhabitants and four of them had a population below 1,000 inhabitants. They were: Serra da Saudade (MG) with 776 inhabitants, Borá (SP) with 838 inhabitants, Araguainha (MT) with 946 inhabitants and Engenho Velho (RS), with 982 inhabitants.

The whole set of 27 capitals surpassed 50 million inhabitants, representing 23.86% of the Brazilian population in 2020. The highest geometric growth rate in the 2019-2020 period was Boa Vista (RR), with 5.12% and the lowest, Porto Alegre (0.30%). The whole set of capital municipalities registered a geometric growth rate of 0.84%, above that of Brazil (0.77%).

The metropolitan area of São Paulo remained as the most populated in Brazil, with 21.9 million inhabitants, followed by the metropolitan areas of Rio de Janeiro (13.1 million) and Belo Horizonte (6.0 million), as well as the Integrated Development Region - RIDE of the Federal District and Surroundings (4.7 million).

The growth rates of the largest metropolitan areas in Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador) were slightly lower than the country average. In those metropolis, the growth of the capital was, in most cases, lower than that reported in the other municipalities.

In 28.1% of the Brazilian municipalities (or 1,565 municipalities), the growth rates were negative, i.e., their population was reduced. Slightly more than half of the Brazilian municipalities (52.1%) recorded a population growth between zero and 1%, and only 3.7% of them (205 municipalities) posted a growth equal to or above 2%.

The group of municipalities with up to 20 thousand inhabitants proportionally posted the greatest number of municipalities with population reduction. On the other hand, the group of municipalities between 100 thousand and one million inhabitants was the one that proportionally registered more municipalities with a growth above 1%. The municipalities with more than one million inhabitants registered growth rates between 0% and 1% per year.

North and Central-West had the biggest proportions of municipalities growing above 1%. In the South Region, 45.6% of the municipalities had their population reduced.

In the ranking of states, São Paulo remained as the most populated, with 46.3 million inhabitants and concentrating 21.9% of the entire Brazilian population, followed by Minas Gerais, with 21.3 million inhabitants, and Rio de Janeiro, with 17.4 million inhabitants. The five less populated states, adding up to 5.7 million persons, were in the North Region: Roraima, Amapá, Acre, Tocantins and Rondônia.

The municipal population estimates are one of the parameters used by the Brazilian Court of Audit to calculate the State and Municipal Revenue Sharing Fund and are key to compute a number of social, economic and demographic indicators. This annual release complies with article 102 of Law no. 8,443/1992 and with Complementary Law no. 143/2013.

The population of the municipalities was estimated by a mathematical procedure and was the result of the distribution of the population of the states, projected among their municipalities by demographic methods. The method is based on the projection of the state population and on the growth trend of the municipalities, outlined by the municipal population captured by the two most recent Population Censuses (2000 and 2010) and adjusted. The municipal estimates also incorporated changes in the municipal territory boundaries that took place after 2010.

The table containing the estimated population for each municipality was published in the Official Gazette - DOU today. The methodological note and the population estimates for the 5,570 Brazilian municipalities and for the 27 Federation Units can be accessed on the right side.