New poverty map: study reveals that 29.6% of Brazilians have monthly income of up to R$497
Poverty increased during the pandemic in Brazil, according to “New Poverty Map,” a study by FGV Social, based on data from the Continuous National Household Sampling Survey (PNADC), published by the national statistics agency, IBGE. The study says that in 2021, 62.9 million Brazilians or 29.6% of the country’s population had a monthly per capita income of up to R$497. In the space of two years, between 2019 and 2021, 9.6 million people saw their income drop and joined the group of Brazilians living in poverty.
“In 2021, poverty in Brazil reached its highest level since PNADC was created in 2012, capping off a lost decade. In our study, we demonstrate that poverty peaked in 2021 across various areas, income groups, poverty thresholds and other indicators,” says economist Marcelo Neri, the director of FGV Social.
The study’s goal was to assess the level and spatial evolution of poverty in recent years in Brazil, using annual microdata from PNADC, recently released by IBGE. To begin with, FGV Social explored the overall poverty situation across the country. After this first analysis, the researchers broke down the numbers by state and other geographic indicators. This constitutes the study’s main contribution. In the final step, the study provided a longer-term view, connecting the data with previous results.
“We mapped the impact of methodological choices used in the measurements and a myriad of national and international poverty thresholds on the results found. Poverty clearly increased significantly during the pandemic. The data paints the map of Brazilian poverty in stronger tones of fresh paint,” Neri adds.
Poverty data broken down into 146 geographical strata in all states
The state with the lowest poverty rate in 2021 was Santa Catarina (10.16%). At the opposite end of the spectrum was Maranhão (57.90%). FGV Social divided Brazil into 146 geographical areas. In 2021, the highest poverty rate was observed in Coastal and Lowland Maranhão (72.59%), 12.7 times higher than in Florianópolis (5.7%), which had the lowest rate. This reflects Brazil’s well-known geographical inequalities.
Analysis of geographic variations in poverty during pandemic
Looking at the change in poverty between 2019 and 2021 in different states, the biggest increase in percentage points was in Pernambuco (8.14 percentage points). During this period, the only decreases in poverty were seen in Tocantins (0.95 percentage points) and Piauí (0.03 percentage points).
Interactive maps and rankings based on local data
FGV Social’s study also provides a range of geographic rankings and interactive maps to let people visualize poverty in locations they are interested in. For example, you can get a local perspective on Rio de Janeiro State’s 92 municipalities, grouped into eight spatial strata. The poverty rate is 16.68% in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, 20.96% in Niterói and São Gonçalo, 30.48% in Duque de Caxias and 33.24% in Nova Iguaçu. There are also some areas that attract affluent visitors but contain many poor residents. This is the case with Rio’s Mountain Region (20.18%), Lakes Region (22.6%) and Paraíba Valley / Green Coast (25.33%). The northern part of the state has long been poor, but the recent development of its oil industry has reduced the poverty rate slightly, to 26.12%.
You can see the complete study here.