By Matthew Elliott, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – New data released yesterday by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) has provided a glimpse of the future characteristics of the Brazilian populace. Among the more arresting projections is the forecast that Brazil’s population will peak at roughly 228 million in 2042.

Brazil Population to Peak in 2042, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
If trends continue, the Brazilian population is expected to peak in the year 2042, photo by Luiz Fernando and Sonia Maria/Flickr Creative Commons License.

By 2060, the number of Brazilians will have dropped to 2025 levels due to slowing birth rates, according to the center that is tasked with compiling data on Brazil’s population.

In addition to having fewer children, women will likely have children later in life, two important features found in developed economies.

Brazilian women currently have an average of 1.77 children and this is expected to drop to 1.5 in 2030. According to experts, the population replacement rate, which takes into account how many children women have to replace themselves, is 2.1.

This period will also see the age of an average first time mother rise from 26.9 to 29.3 with work, income levels and further education proving significant factors driving those increases. Meanwhile, average life expectancy will increase from 75 to 81 in 2060 with Brazilian women continuing to live longer than their male counterparts.

Other predictions of particular socioeconomic significance were revealed, with the number of Brazilians over 65 expected to quadruple by 2060, raising from the current 7.4 percent to an estimated 26.7 percent of the population, or 58.4 million people.

This means the burden on the economically active segment of the population will increase. In the shorter term, however, Brazil could see a more favorable ratio take hold as the young population of today enters the workforce. In 2022, Brazil will the lowest ratio of nonworkers to workers.

Demographic changes will not be uniform throughout the country with the poorer northeast region of Brazil predicted to continue losing population to richer states in the south. Bahia is expected to see the largest flight, while Santa Catarina will receive the most migrants.

The population of Latin America’s largest country surpassed 200 million for the first time this year, a rise of ten million since the last census in 2010. Issues of social equality continue to challenge the ethnically diverse country which is the fifth greatest in the world both in terms of populace and land mass.

Read more (in Portuguese.)

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