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Flag of Brazil.svg
Total population
Brazilian citizens: c. 207,556,571 (2015 estimate)
Regions with significant populations
 Brazil        190,755,799[1](2010 Census)       
                       204,450,649[2](2015 estimate)
 Japan 479,649[3]
 United States 350,000[3]
 Paraguay 349,842[3]
 Portugal 166,775[3]
 United Kingdom 128,638[3]
 Spain 120,000[3]
 Germany 113,716[3]
  Switzerland 81,000[3]
 France 70,000[3]
 Italy 69,000[3]
 Belgium 48,000[3]
 Argentina 47,045[3]
 Canada 39,300[3]
 French Guiana 38,700[3]
 Bolivia 28,546[3]
 Australia 27,000[3]
 Netherlands 21,948[3]
 Colombia 17,000[3]
 Guyana 17,000[3]
 China 16,700[3]
Other countries 211,063[3]
Portuguese (99.4%)
Indigenous languages (0.082%)[4]
High German languages (Moselle Franconian Hunsrückisch, Westphalian, Luxembourgish, Swabian, Bavarian, Austrian, Allemanic) and Low German language (Pomeranian, Plautdietsch) (Bilingualism 1.94%, co-official status).[5][6][7]
Venetian or Talian (1.49%)[8][9]
Polish (0.19%)
Ukrainian (0.049%)
Dutch (0.031%)[10]
Castilian (0.22%)
French (0.1457%)
Lithuanian (0.04%)
Norwegian (0.027%)
Russian (0.02%)
North Levantine spoken Arabic and Turoyo (Aramaic) (0.07%)[11]
Japanese (0.197%)[12]
Korean (0.0396%)[13]
Chinese (0.13%)
Yiddish High German (0.038%)[14]
Hebrew (0.044%)

Native English speakers (0.2007%)[15][16][17][18]

English as a second or foreign additional language (6.7%) [22][23]
Christian majority: Roman Catholicism 64% (nominal, culturally Christian, nonpractising lapsed Catholics included), Protestantism 22%,

other Christians: Orthodox Church, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Brazilian Catholics

Irreligion, Deism, Agnosticism, Atheism 9%

minorities: Kardecism, Buddhism and other Oriental philosophies (Shinto and Shinto-derived Japanese new religions, Korean Confucianism), Judaism, African tradition religions (Umbanda) and Islam.
Related ethnic groups
Latin Americans • Portuguese • West/Central Africans • Indigenous peoples • Italians • Spaniards • Germans • Polish • Dutch • French • Lithuanians • Norwegians • Ukrainians • Brasiguayos • Other Lusophone peoples • Other Europeans • Japanese • Lebanese • Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews

Brazilians (brasileiros in Portuguese, IPA: [bɾɐ̞ziˈlejɾus][24]) are all people born in Brazil. A Brazilian can also be a person born abroad to a Brazilian father or a Brazilian mother or a foreigner living in Brazil who acquired Brazilian citizenship.


According to the Constitution of Brazil, a Brazilian citizen is:

  • Anyone born in Brazil, even if to foreign parents. However, if the foreign parents were at the service of a foreign State (such as foreign diplomats), the child is not Brazilian;
  • Anyone born abroad to a Brazilian father or a Brazilian mother, with registration of birth in a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate. Also, a person born abroad to a Brazilian father or a Brazilian mother who was not registered but who, after turning 18 years old, went to live in Brazil;[25]
  • A foreigner living in Brazil who applied for and was accepted as a Brazilian citizen.

According to the Constitution, all people who hold Brazilian citizenship are equal, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or religion.

A foreigner can apply for Brazilian citizenship after living for 4 (four) uninterrupted years in Brazil and being able to speak Portuguese. A native person from an official Portuguese language country (Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea Bissau and East Timor) can request the Brazilian nationality after only 1 uninterrupted year living in Brazil. A foreign born person who holds Brazilian citizenship has exactly the same rights and duties of the Brazilian citizen by birth, but cannot occupy some special public positions such as the Presidency of the Republic, Vice-presidency of the Republic, Minister (Secretary) of Defense, Presidency (Speaker) of the Senate, Presidency (Speaker) of the House of Representatives, Officer of the Armed Forces and Diplomat.[25]


Brazilians are mostly descendants of colonial settlers and post-colonial immigrants, African slaves and Brazil's indigenous peoples. Along with other groups of immigrants who arrived in Brazil, from the 1820s well into the 1970s, most of the immigrants were Portuguese, Italians, Spaniards and Germans, also with significantly large numbers of Japanese, Poles and Lebanese people.[26]

The Brazilian people are multi-ethnic. First row: White (Portuguese, German, Italian and Lebanese, respectively) and Japanese Brazilians. Second row: African, pardo (cafuzo, mulato and caboclo, respectively) and Native (Indian) Brazilians.
Main Brazilian ethnic groups.

When the first Portuguese arrived in South America in the 16th century, Brazil was inhabited by an estimated number of 2.4 million Amerindians of hundreds of different tribes, who had been living there since the Pleistocene. From 1500 until the independence of the country in 1822, Brazil was settled by some 724,000 Portuguese, mostly men.[27] Some sources even claim that the number of Portuguese people entering Brazil even surpassed the given numbers. Portugal remained the only significant, but not exclusive, source of European immigration to Brazil until the early 19th century. Under the rule of Dutch Brazil in the north-eastern part of the country from 1630 to 1654, a comparatively small, but still notable number of Dutch settlers, clerks, sailors, soldiers (Dutch Brazilian) and some Jewish People arrived, the latter seeking religious freedom. These Jews founded the first Synagogue in the Americas, named Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue in the city of Recife. The Dutch settlers were divided into two separate groups, foremost the "Dienaren" (servants) as soldiers, bureaucrats, and Calvinist ministers. And then the "Vrijburghers/Vrijluiden" (freemen), as expelled soldiers and Dutch people who searched for a new life in Nieuw Holland.

It is estimated, that 10,000 - 20,000 Dutch entered Brazil in that period. At the end of New-Holland, most of the Dutch and Jewish people were expelled or left the country if affordable, some families stayed in the capital, the others mainly fled to remote parts of the interior of north-eastern Brazil (mainly Pernambuco, but also Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte and others), changed their names to Portuguese ones or, in case of some Jews, converted to Christianity. Furthermore, many Dutch settlers had intermarried and therefore miscegenated with the local population before, as clear DNA-results show. The Jews who mostly left Brazil took off to what was then named New Amsterdam, today, New York City, founding the oldest Jewish congregation in the USA, the Congregation Shearith Israel. The ones who stayed, converted to Christianity, they were then known as New Christians or Marranos who sometimes practiced Crypto-Judaism.

Even if the Jewish population under Dutch-Brazil not surpassed a few thousand individuals, a much bigger number of converted Jews or New-Christians, in the past simply absorbed as Portuguese, and also Romani People arrived in Colonial Brazil, especially in the first centuries after 1500. They immigrated to Brazil or had been deported by the Kingdom of Portugal, and also by Spain, some of them known as Degredados, someone who was sentenced or forced to exile.

As a result of the Atlantic slave trade, from the mid-16th century until 1855, an estimated 4 million African slaves, from dozens of different countries, were brought to Brazil. In 1808, the Portuguese court moved to Brazil and opened its seaports to other nations. Then, other groups of immigrants started to immigrate to the country.

From 1820 to 1975, 5,686,133 immigrants entered Brazil, the vast majority of them Europeans. In this period the Portuguese and Italians arrived in equal numbers, and numbered, including the Spaniards, close to 70% of all immigrants. The rest was composed mainly of Germans, Austrians, Luxembourgers, Swiss, Japanese, Poles, Lebanese, Syrians, French, Dutch, Lithuanians and Latvians, Ukrainians, Norwegians and Swedes, Russians and Hungarians . Dozens of other immigrant groups form sizable to larger groups in Brazil. The port of Santos, São Paulo, widely known as the most important entrance of immigrants in Brazil, received people from more than 60 different countries.[26]

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) classify the Brazilian population in five categories: brancos (white), negros (black), pardos (brown or mixed), amarelos (Asian/yellow) and índios (Amerindian), based on skin color or race. The last detailed census (PNAD) found Brazil to be made up of c. 91 million white people (White Brazilian), 79 million multiracial people (Pardo), 14 million black people (Afro-Brazilian), 2-4 million Asian people (Asian Brazilian) and 807,900 indigenous (Amerindian) people.

Nowadays, Brazil is home to the largest Portuguese (c. 42–110 m.), Italian (c. 29–31 m.), Lebanese (c. 06–08 m.) Japanese (c. 1,8 m.) and Lithuanian (c. 850 thousand) diasporas and holds the biggest number of multiracial people (Pardo) in the world. There are more people of Lebanese and Portuguese diaspora living in Brazil than in their respective homelands. The German (c.12.5 m.), Polish (c. 3.4 m.), and more curiously, the Romani People diasporas, are the second largests. The Dutch (c. 1.5 m.) diaspora is ranked second in the Americas and the Germanic Nordic or Scandinavian population (c. 1 m.) is the largest in Latin America. Syrian diaspora ranks, depending on the source, on first or second place. The Spanish (c. 20 m.) diaspora ranks on third or fourth place. The French (c. 1 m.) diaspora ranks on fourth in the Americas. The Jewish diaspora is ranked 8th or 10th on the planet. Also, Brazil is home to the only still ancient Pomeranian speaking (Pomeranian language) community in the world, the language is now extinct in Europe.

Young Brazilians.

In the 2005 detailed census, for the first time in two decades, the number of White Brazilians did not exceed 50% of the population. On the other side, the number of pardos (multiracial) people increased and all the others remained almost the same. According to the IBGE, this trend is mainly because of the revaluation of the identity of historically discriminated ethnic groups.

The ethnic composition of Brazilians is not uniform across the country. Due to its large influx of European immigrants in the 19th century, the Southern Region has a large White majority, composing 79.6% of its population.[28] The Northeastern Region, as a result of the large numbers of African slaves working in the sugar cane engenhos, has a majority of pardos and black peoples, respectively, 63.1% and 7.0%.[29] Northern Brazil, largely covered by the Amazon Rainforest, is 71.5% pardo, due to Amerindian ancestry.[30] Southeast (55% White, 35% Pardo, 8% Black, 1% Asian, 0,1% Amerindian) and Central-Western (50% White, 43% Pardo, 5% Black, 1% Asian/Amerindian) Brazil have a more balanced ratio among different racial groups.

In 2011, the country was home to 1.5 million foreign born people, more than twice as of 2009. The numbers still could be higher, as there are many undocumented people in Brazil as well. For both, the documented and undocumented, most of the foreigners come from Portugal, Bolivia, China, Paraguay, Angola, Spain, Argentina, Japan and the USA.[31] The major work visas concessions were granted for citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom.[32]

In 2014, Brazil was home to 5,208 refugees from 79 different nationalities. The three largest refugee ancestries were Syrian (1,626), Colombian (1,154) and Angolan (1062). In addition to these numbers, there are several thousand people who had entered the country and are still waiting for the government to acknowledge their refugee status, as 1,830 people from Bangladesh[33] in 2013 alone and other 1,021 people from Syria and 799 people from Senegal, for example.[33]

Brazil is today home to 4.5 thousand Afghans and was a destination for Vietnamese people in the past[34]

Brazil is said to be among the most miscegenated countries in the world, as since the country was discovered and during the colonial period intermarriage between races was common. Those of full ancestry are usually the Brazilians who can trace back their ethnicity to more recent immigration from the monarchical period in the 19th century until the republican 20th and 21st centuries. But many Brazilians can not trace back their real origin easily. It has never been nothing unusual that names which were difficult to pronounce were simply changed to easier Portuguese surnames. In basic terms half of Brazilians are descendants of populations from the colonial era and the other half made of modern immigration. Brazil is a true melting-pot of Europeans, Asians, Africans and Indigenous people, who either are in the single group or a mixture of various different backgrounds and races.

Skin color or
(rounded values)
2000[35] 2008[36]
White 53.74% 48.43%
Black 6.21% 6.84%
Mixed-race 38.45% 43.80%
East Asian 0.45% 1.1%
Amerindian 0.43% 0.28%
Not declared 0.71% 0.07%

White people

Whites constitute the majority of Brazil's population regarding the total numbers within a single racial group. The country has the second largest White population in the Americas in absolute numbers and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, with around 97-98 million people. The White-Brazilian population constitute the third largest white population in the world within a nation in absolute numbers, after the United States and Russia.[37][38][39]

The majority came from the Great Immigration period, which was the large European diaspora influx after steps had been taken for "whitening policies" during the monarchical and early republican periods. Those policies also sought labor and were made in order to avoid the foreign invasion threat of sparsely populated areas in the South. Various other groups derive from colonial times and post-war decades.

The main European ancestries in Brazil are Lusitanian or Portuguese, Italian, Spanish (Galician, Castilian, Catalan and Basque), German and German-speaking nationalities (i.e., Austrian, Luxembourger and Swiss), Northern Slavic nationalities (such as Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian, but also Southern Slavs as Bulgarian, Czech, Slovenian, Slovakian, Croatian and Serbian), Dutch and Flemish, French and Walloon, and Baltic nationalities like Lithuanian and Latvian. Smaller ethnicities that follow include Scandinavian (Norwegian, Swedish and Danish), British, Hungarian, Finnish, Greek, Irish, Romanian, and Estonian.

Brazil has the largest Arab population in Latin America with the main Levantine nationalities being Lebanese and Syrian, both being mostly of Christian Levantine descent.

Brazil is also home to one of the top 10 largest Jewish diasporas on Earth, most of them of Ashkenazi background but also Sephardi Jews included. Brazil is on the list of Jewish diasporas together with Argentina, and São Paulo has one of the largest Jewish populations by urban area on the planet. Anusim or Portuguese and Dutch Marrano Crypto Jews can be found in every one of the 5 geographical regions, but are most common in the Northeast, with Pernambuco having one of the largest Converso populations.

The Caucasus peoples community, notably Armenians and Georgians, is mostly present in the state of São Paulo. Armenian immigrants in Brazil gathered mostly in and around the city of São Paulo, where there are Orthodox churches, cultural centers, and even a metro station named "Armênia".[40] The Armenian community maintains a strong presence in the city, albeit not in the country as a whole.

Immigrating groups already in diaspora include White nationals from Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, as well as Angolans of European ancestry.

The immigration of Europeans in diaspora has included in the past the American Confederate Colonies in the 19th century, Lusitanians from former Portuguese colonies (like Macau in China), Dutch Surinamese (or Boeroes, after their country's independence), and South African Boeren.

There are people of European descent distributed throughout the entire territory of Brazil; however, the states of the Southeastern and Southern regions have the largest White populations. Whereas the Southeast region has the largest absolute numbers, 79.8% of the population in the three southernmost states has European or Caucasian phenotype. The state of Santa Catarina in Southern Brazil has the highest percentage, being almost 90% European; and considering total population, São Paulo in the Southeast, which makes the fourth highest rate, has the biggest number of Europeans as well as the largest Levantine Arab and Jewish populations, with an absolute number of 30 million Whites.

Brazil is home to 240 immigrant or extoctone languages, most of them European languages. Standard German and German dialects make the second most spoken language in Brazil with around 4 million bilingual speakers or 2% of the population, other Caucasoid immigration languages are Italian, Venetian or Talian dialect, Polish, Castilian, Ukrainian, Russian, Dutch, Lebanese Arabic, Hebrew, Yidish, Lithuanian, French, Catalan, Galician, Norwegian, Swedish, English, Hungarian, Finnish, Danish, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Armenian, Czech, Slovakian, Slovenian, Romanian, Serbian, Vlax Romani, Georgian, Turoyo and Baltic or Lithuanian Romani.

Assorted German dialects and Venetian or Talian share co-official status with Portuguese in several municipalities.

White-Brazilian people by region:
Region Percentage
North Brazil 23.5%
Northeast Brazil 28.8%
Central-West Brazil 50.5%
Southeast Brazil 58%
Southern Brazil 78%

Mixed (Multiracial) people

Multiracials constitute the second largest group of Brazil with around 80 million people. The term Pardo or mixed-race Brazilian is a rather complex one. Multiracial Brazilians appear in hundreds of different shades, colours and backgrounds. They are typically a mixture of colonial and post-colonial Europeans with descendants of West Africans and indigenous peoples of the Americas. Some individuals may also have more recent East Asian or Arab ancestry. Skin colours can vary from light to dark. The Caboclo or mestiço population, those who are a miscigenation of Native and European, revolves around 43 million people. Genetic studies have shown that the Caboclo population is made of individuals whose DNA ranges from 70% to 90% European (mostly Portuguese, Spanish or Dutch) with the remaining percentage spanning different Indigenous markers. Similar DNA tests showed that people self-classified as Mulatto or White and Black mix, span from 62% to 85% European (mostly descendants of Portuguese, Dutch and French settlers during the colonial period in the Northeast). The Pardo category in Brazil also includes 800 thousand Gypsies or Roma people, most of them coming from Portugal but also different countries in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Eurasians can also be classified as Pardo. The majority of them consisting of Ainoko or Hafu, individuals who are a miscigenation between Japanese and European.

The largest populations with Pardo individuals are found in northern and northeastern Brazil, with many inhabiting the states of Mato Grosso, Goiás, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro (state), São Paulo (state) and Paraná (state), as well as the Federal District. While the occurrence of Pardos is not uniform across the country, there are states with more people of mixed background than others. It also can happen that Pardos constitute significant numbers within single regions in states.

Multiracial people by region:
Region Percentage
North Brazil 69.2%
Northeast Brazil 62.7%
Central-West Brazil 43%
Southeast Brazil 35.69%
Southern Brazil 16.98%

Black people

Blacks constitute the third largest ethnic group of Brazil with around 14 million citizens or 7% of the population. These are people who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa. In the country, these are generally used for Brazilians with at least partial Sub-Saharan African ancestry. Most African Brazilians are the direct descendants of captive Africans who survived the slavery era within the boundaries of the present Brazil, but also with considerable European and Amerindian ancestry. Afro-Brazilians might not directly be compared to Pardo-Brazilians. The number of African genes is substantially higher in Afro-Brazilians, therefore their skin colour is darker compared to mixed-race Brazilians.

Today most Blacks are either Catholic or Evangelical. Smaller groups are Irreligious including Atheists and a number of African tradition sects can be found especially in Bahia, notably Candomblé and Umbanda. The latter being a syncretism of Roman Catholicism, African traditions, Spiritism and Indigenous beliefs. A minority of Blacks follows Kardecism, which is a blend of Christianism and Spiritualism founded in France.

Most Blacks can be found in Bahia and Maranhão states after the colonial period influx, as well as in the northern region of Minas Gerais thanks to the Diamond and Gold Rush period and parts of Rio de Janeiro due to slavery in the former royal court after its transfer.

Afro-Brazilian people by region:
Region Percentage
North Brazil 6.2%
Northeast Brazil 8.1%
Central-West Brazil 5.7%
Southeast Brazil 7.91%
Southern Brazil 3.6%

East Asian people

Asians constitute the fourth largest ethnic group of Brazil, 2.2 million, what may not include East-Asians with mixed background. The largest Asian ethnic group in the country are by far the Japanese. Brazil has the largest population of Japanese people outside Japan, being in percentage or absolute numbers. The number of Japanese Brazilians revolves around 1.8 million descendants and the Japanese community also comprises 57 thousand Japanese nationals. The others are mainly Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean. Due to the recent immigration of Chinese citizens to Brazil the number of these people is constantly on the rise. South Asians are also included in a rather smaller number, mostly East Indians, Vietnamese, Bengali and Indonesians. Brazil is also home to a large Eurasian population, around 400 thousand people, most of them Hafu or Ainoko, Nipponic descendants.

There are large groups of East Asian Catholics as well as non-religious Asians. Buddhism in Brazil is also very common among non-Asians, especially Whites, with Japanese Buddhism being among the most usual and oldest forms. Shinto practices involving life style and funerals are very common in Nipponese families of São Paulo and Paraná states. Shinto-derived Japanese New Religions are very popular throughout the nation. The largest Nipponese new religions are Seicho-no-Ie, Tenrikyo, Perfect Liberty Kyodan and Church of World Messianity. Korean Confucianism and Chinese Confucianism are especially found in São Paulo capital.

East-Asian Brazilians by region:
Region Percentage
North Brazil 0.5 - 1%
Northeast Brazil 0.3 - 0.5%
Central-West Brazil 0.7 - 0.8%
Southeast Brazil 1.1%
Southern Brazil 0.5 - 0.7%

Japanese people

Japanese immigrants began officially arriving in 1908, as a result of the decrease in the Italian immigration to Brazil and a new labour shortage on the coffee plantations. However, there was a small influx of Japanese citizens to Brazil before.

The Kasato Maru

The end of feudalism in Japan generated great poverty in the rural population, so many Japanese began to emigrate in search of better living conditions. In 1907, the Brazilian and the Japanese governments signed a treaty permitting Japanese migration to Brazil. The first Japanese immigrants (790 people – mostly farmers) came to Brazil in 1908 on the Kasato Maru. They travelled from the Japanese port of Kobe via the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.[41] Many of them became owners of coffee plantations.[42]

In the first seven years, 3,434 more Japanese families (14,983 people) arrived. The beginning of World War I in 1914 started a boom in Japanese migration to Brazil; such that between 1917 and 1940 over 164,000 Japanese came to Brazil, 75% of them going to São Paulo (state), where most of the coffee plantations were located.[43]

Japanese Immigration to Brazil by Period, 1906 – 1993[44][45]
Years Population
1906–1910 1,714
1911–1915 13,371
1916–1920 13,576
1921–1925 11,350
1926–1930 59,564
1931–1935 72,661
1936–1941 16,750
1952–1955 7,715
1956–1960 29,727
1961–1965 9,488
1966–1970 2,753
1971–1975 1,992
1976–1980 1,352
1981–1985 411
1986–1990 171
1991–1993 48
Total 242,643

Most of the Japanese Brazilian population lives in the state of São Paulo, especially in the municipalities, regions and metropolitan regions of São Paulo (city), Mogi das Cruzes, Guarulhos, Bastos, Presidente Prudente and various other cities. The second most important place for Japanese immigration was Paraná (state), where they constitute a numerous population in the cities and regions of Maringá, Londrina, Assaí and Curitiba.

Other important populations are found in municipalities in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará and Piauí. Japanese Brazilians are found all over Brazil, especially in the more prosperous or capital cities. Due to internal migration processes, some Japanese Brazilians moved from the more popular destinations to rural areas and other places.

According to Ethnologue, Brazil is home to 400 thousand Japanese speakers.

Chinese people

The Chinese immigration to Brazil started in 1810, after the Portuguese Royal Family moved its court from Portugal to the city of Rio de Janeiro. At this time, Portugal organized the first influx of Chinese people from its colony in Macau. Later, other immigrants came to develop the cultivation of tea in São Paulo (state).

Years later, in 1844, there was another influx to the city of Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba, this time to plant rice in the first city. However, the plantation was a failure. The Chinese labor force was then redirected to the construction of a road connecting the Botanical Garden to another section of the city, Alto da Boa Vista. This might explain the construction and existence of the Vista Chinesa (Chinese View) which borders that historic road.[46]

Brazil received Chinese people along the time of the great immigration, but the greatest influx occurred in the 1950s. At that time China was experiencing many internal upheavals. The Chinese people mainly came from the southern coastal provinces, particularly Guangdong (Canton) and Fujian. Others came from Xinjiang and Heilongjiang, the last ones due to the border to Russia. Some smaller numbers of the Chinese who immigrated to Brazil actually were Russian people.

Nowadays, at least 250,000 people in Brazil are of Chinese origin, with almost everyone from mainland China. Another important group are the people from the island of Taiwan. More than 50,000 people are Taiwanese Brazilians, what makes the number rise up to 300,000 individuals with Chinese origin.

Most of the Chinese Brazilians live in São Paulo (city). Others live in the cities of Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro (city), Recife and Porto Alegre. Due to strong Chinese investments and immigration to Brazil, in the last 10 years the number of Chinese citizens kept rising. They immigrate to many capital cities and bigger cities in the interior.

Korean people

Korean immigration to Brazil began officially in 1963, to encourage emigration to control population, reduce unemployment and garner foreign exchange via immigrant remittances. So the South Korean government passed its Overseas Emigration Law. However, smaller groups already arrived in the 1950s (52 and 53) who were prisoners from the Korean War. The first immigrants came to work in the agriculture. The immigrants who came in the 1960s mainly fixed themselves in the cities.[47]

The Federal Police states that there are actually around 50,000 people with mainly South-Korean origin. However, this estimate may be underrepresenting the numbers significantly, since both documented and especially undocumented immigrants may choose not to register with South Korean diplomatic missions in Brazil. Unofficial estimates put the Korean population of Brazil at between two and three times higher than that of the government.

Almost 90% of the population lives in the state of São Paulo, most of them in the capital. Others are found in the main capitals and cities of the country.

Indigenous people

Indigenous people constitute the fifth largest ethnic group of Brazil, with around 800,000 individuals. It is the oldest ethnic group in the country, mainly located in the surroundings of the Amazon basin inside the Amazon Forest but also in various reservations throughout the five geographical regions. Compared to the total population of the country the number might seem small, but millions of Brazilians actually have some Indigenous ancestry. This happened mainly because of the miscegenation of indigenous tribes with colonial settlers.

Around 180 Native or autoctone languages are spoken in Brazil by 160 thousand people, many of them have threatened status. Most Natives can communicate in Portuguese and tribes in reservations have their mother tongue and Portuguese taught at schools. Today 517 thousand people live in Indigenous reservations.

Genetic studies

Genetic studies have shown the Brazilian population as a whole to have European, African and Native Americans components.

Autosomal studies

A 2015 autosomal genetic study, which also analysed data of 25 studies of 38 different Brazilian populations concluded that: European ancestry accounts for 62% of the heritage of the population, followed by the African (21%) and the Native American (17%). The European contribution is highest in Southern Brazil (77%), the African highest in Northeast Brazil (27%) and the Native American is the highest in Northern Brazil (32%).[48]

Region[48] European African Native American
North Region 51% 16% 32%
Northeast Region 58% 27% 15%
Central-West Region 64% 24% 12%
Southeast Region 67% 23% 10%
South Region 77% 12% 11%

An autosomal study from 2013, with nearly 1300 samples from all of the Brazilian regions, found a pred. degree of European ancestry combined with African and Native American contributions, in varying degrees. 'Following an increasing North to South gradient, European ancestry was the most prevalent in all urban populations (with values up to 74%). The populations in the North consisted of a significant proportion of Native American ancestry that was about two times higher than the African contribution. Conversely, in the Northeast, Center-West and Southeast, African ancestry was the second most prevalent. At an intrapopulation level, all urban populations were highly admixed, and most of the variation in ancestry proportions was observed between individuals within each population rather than among population'.[49]

Region[50] European African Native American
North Region 51% 17% 32%
Northeast Region 56% 28% 16%
Central-West Region 58% 26% 16%
Southeast Region 61% 27% 12%
South Region 74% 15% 11%

An autosomal DNA study (2011), with nearly 1000 samples from every major race group ("whites", "pardos" and "blacks", according to their respective proportions) all over the country found out a major European contribution, followed by a high African contribution and an important Native American component.[51] "In all regions studied, the European ancestry was predominant, with proportions ranging from 60.6% in the Northeast to 77.7% in the South". The 2011 autosomal study samples came from blood donors (the lowest classes constitute the great majority of blood donors in Brazil[52]), and also public health institutions personnel and health students.

Region[51] European African Native American
Northern Brazil 68.80% 10.50% 18.50%
Northeast Brazil 60.10% 29.30% 8.90%
Southeast Brazil 74.20% 17.30% 7.30%
Southern Brazil 79.50% 10.30% 9.40%

According to an autosomal DNA study from 2010, "a new portrayal of each ethnicity contribution to the DNA of Brazilians, obtained with samples from the five regions of the country, has indicated that, on average, European ancestors are responsible for nearly 80% of the genetic heritage of the population. The variation between the regions is small, with the possible exception of the South, where the European contribution reaches nearly 90%. The results, published by the scientific magazine American Journal of Human Biology by a team of the Catholic University of Brasília, show that, in Brazil, physical indicators such as skin colour, colour of the eyes and colour of the hair have little to do with the genetic ancestry of each person, which has been shown in previous studies (regardless of census classification).[53] "Ancestry informative SNPs can be useful to estimate individual and population biogeographical ancestry. Brazilian population is characterized by a genetic background of three parental populations (European, African, and Brazilian Native Amerindians) with a wide degree and diverse patterns of admixture. In this work we analyzed the information content of 28 ancestry-informative SNPs into multiplexed panels using three parental population sources (African, Amerindian, and European) to infer the genetic admixture in an urban sample of the five Brazilian geopolitical regions. The SNPs assigned apart the parental populations from each other and thus can be applied for ancestry estimation in a three hybrid admixed population. Data was used to infer genetic ancestry in Brazilians with an admixture model. Pairwise estimates of F(st) among the five Brazilian geopolitical regions suggested little genetic differentiation only between the South and the remaining regions. Estimates of ancestry results are consistent with the heterogeneous genetic profile of Brazilian population, with a major contribution of European ancestry (0.771) followed by African (0.143) and Amerindian contributions (0.085). The described multiplexed SNP panels can be useful tool for bioanthropological studies but it can be mainly valuable to control for spurious results in genetic association studies in admixed populations".[50] It is important to note that "the samples came from free of charge paternity test takers, thus as the researchers made it explicit: "the paternity tests were free of charge, the population samples involved people of variable socioeconomic strata, although likely to be leaning slightly towards the ‘‘pardo’’ group".[50]

Region[50] European African Native American
North Region 71.10% 18.20% 10.70%
Northeast Region 77.40% 13.60% 8.90%
Central-West Region 65.90% 18.70% 11.80%
Southeast Region 79.90% 14.10% 6.10%
South Region 87.70% 7.70% 5.20%

An autosomal DNA study from 2009 found a similar profile "all the Brazilian samples (regions) lie more closely to the European group than to the African populations or to the Mestizos from Mexico".[54]

Region[55] European African Native American
North Region 60.6% 21.3% 18.1%
Northeast Region 66.7% 23.3% 10.0%
Central-West Region 66.3% 21.7% 12.0%
Southeast Region 60.7% 32.0% 7.3%
South Region 81.5% 9.3% 9.2%

According to another autosomal DNA study from 2008, by the University of Brasília (UnB), European ancestry dominates in the whole of Brazil (in all regions), accounting for 65.90% of ancestry of the population, followed by the African contribution (24.80%) and the Native American (9.3%).[56]

[57] A more recent study, from 2013, found the following composition in São Paulo state: 61,9% European, 25,5% African and 11,6% Native American.[58]

MtDna and y DNA studies

Haplogroup frequencies do not determine phenotype nor admixture. They are very general genetic snapshots, primarily useful in examining past population group migratory patterns. Only autosomal DNA testing can reveal admixture structures, since it analyses millions of alleles from both maternal and paternal sides. Contrary to yDNA or mtDNA, which are focused on one single lineage (paternal or maternal) the autosomal DNA studies profile the whole ancestry of a given individual, being more accurate in describing the complex patterns of ancestry in a given place. According to a genetic study in 2000 who analysed 247 samples (mainly identified as "white" in Brazil) who came from four of the five major geographic regions of the country, the mtDNA pool (maternal lineages) of present-day Brazilians clearly reflects the imprints of the early Portuguese colonization process (involving directional mating), as well as the recent immigrant waves (from Europe) of the last century.[59]

Continental Fraction Brazil Northern Northeastern Southeastern Southern
Native American 33% 54% 22% 33% 22%
African 28% 15% 44% 34% 12%
European 39% 31% 34% 31% 66%

According to a study in 2001, the vast majority of Y chromosomes (male lineages) in white Brazilian males, regardless of their regional source, is of European origin (>90% contribution), with a very low frequency of sub-Saharan African chromosomes and a complete absence of Amerindian contributions. These results configure a picture of strong directional mating in Brazil involving European males, on one side, and European, African and Amerindian females, on the other.[26]

In a study from 2016, the authors investigated a set of 41 Y-SNPs in 1217 unrelated males from the five Brazilian geopolitical regions. A total of 22 different haplogroups were detected in the whole Brazilian sample, revealing the three major continental origins of the current population, namely from America, Europe and Africa. The genetic differences observed among regions were, however, consistent with the colonization history of the country. The sample from the Northern region presented the highest Native American ancestry (8.4%), whereas the more pronounced African contribution could be observed in the Northeastern population (15.1%). The Central-Western and Southern samples showed the higher European contributions (95.7% and 93.6%, respectively). The Southeastern region presented significant European (86.1%) and African (12.0%) contributions. Portugal was estimated to be the main source of the male European lineages to Central-West, Southeast and South Brazil. The North and the Northeast showed the highest contribution from France and Italy, respectively. The highest migration rate from Lebanon was to the Central-Weast, whereas a significant migration from Germany was observed to the Central East, Southeast and South.[60]

In the Brazilian "white" and "pardos" the autosomal ancestry (the sum of the ancestors of a given individual) tends to be in most cases predominantly European, with often a non European mtDNA (which points to a non European ancestor somewhere down the maternal line), which is explained by the women marrying newly arrived colonists, during the formation of the Brazilian people.[61]

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External links