Brazil census shows African-Brazilians in the majority for the first time | World news | The Guardian
Preliminary results from the 2010 census, released on Wednesday, show that 97 million Brazilians, or 50.7% of the population, now define themselves as black or mixed race, compared with 91 million or 47.7% who label themselves white.
According to the census, 7.6% of Brazilians said they were black, compared with 6.2% in 2000, and 43.1% said they were mixed race, up from 38.5%.
In 1872, when Brazil’s first census was conducted, the population was split into just two groups: free people and slaves, who then represented 15% of the population.
A parallel study, released this week by the Data Popular Institute, provided further evidence of the racial divide that continues to blight Brazilian society. The wealthiest group of Brazilians – known as “Class A” – was made up of 82.3% white people and just 17.7% African-Brazilians.
In contrast “Class E” – the poorest section of society – was 76.3% African-Brazilian and 23.7% white.
A news report on the census findings aired by the Brazilian channel Record TV said the rise in Brazil’s officially black and mixed race population was “a signal of growing pride among the descendants of Africans”. The story was presented by a white reporter and introduced by two white news anchors.