Immigration to Brazil: Wikis


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"This mass of mulattoes and caboclos, Lusitanized because of the Portuguese language that they spoke, for the vision of the world, were shaping the Brazilian ethnicity and promoting, simultaneously, their integration in the form of a nation-state. It was already mature when large numbers of immigrants arrived from Europe and Japan, which allowed them all to be assimilated under the condition of generic Brazilians (...) They even forgot from where they came from and the miserable lives they faced in their homelands (...) A mixed-race people in flesh and in spirit, because here race-mixing was never a crime or a sin."

O Povo Brasileiro, Darcy Ribeiro, pag 16.[1]

Brazilian immigration (emigration to Brazil) refers to the movement of non-residents to Brazil. Immigration has been a very important demographic factor in the composition, structure and history of human population in Brazil, with all its attending factors and consequences in culture, economy, education, racial issues, etc. Brazil has received one of the largest numbers of immigrants in the Western Hemisphere, along with the United States, Argentina and Canada.[2]

In 1500, Brazil was inhabited by some 2.4 million Amerindians. Since then, 6 million Europeans and 4 million Africans entered the country.[3] The current Brazilian population is characterized by its diverse, multiethnic character.

In 2008, 641,000 immigrants were residing in Brazil, the third largest number in South America.[4] Between 2004 to 2007, had an increase of 51% in the total records of foreigners in the country. In 2004, the Federal Police registered 29,770 foreigners. In 2007, were 44,954.[5] In 2008, the main countries that sent to Brazil were the United States, Philippines, United Kingdom, China, India, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Canada, and Colombia. The States with the largest immigrant populations were São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Amazonas, Paraná, Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Distrito Federal, Rio Grande do Norte, and Pernambuco.[6]

A poster used in Europe to attract immigrants to Brazil.


Brief history

Colonial settlement

Members of the first Portuguese expedition to Brazil celebrating the first Mass in Brazil among the Indians.

When Brazil was discovered as a new land in the New World by the Portuguese in 1500, its native population was composed of several million Amerindians living there for the last 15,000 to 20,000 years.[7] During several decades afterwards, the country remained sparsely inhabited by Europeans. Among those few, mainly Portuguese, most were renegades, criminals banned from Portugal, shipwreck survivors, or mutinous sailors. They integrated into the local tribes, using their superior technology to attain privileged positions among them.[8]

After 1530, the Portuguese started to settle in Brazil in significant numbers. However, Portugal had a small population to develop the exploitation of Brazil. Then, by 1550, the colonists started to bring African slaves. From 1500, when the Portuguese reached Brazil, until its independence in 1822, from 500,000 to 700,000 Portuguese settled in Brazil, 600,000 of whom arrived in the 18th century alone.[9][10] The number of Portuguese who settled in Brazil in its colonial era was far lower than of African slaves: from 1550 to 1850, some 4 million slaves were brought to Brazil.[10]

In the early 19th century, Brazil was mainly composed of three different peoples: the indigenous inhabitants, the Portuguese and their descendants, the Africans and descendants and people of varying degrees of "racial" mixture.

Immigration during the Empire

The arrival of the first Germans in Southern Brazil.

With the opening of the Brazilian ports, in 1808, the number of immigrants entering the country started to grow. The government began to stimulate the arrival of Europeans to occupy plots of land and become small farmers. In 1812, settlers from the Azores were brought to Espírito Santo and in 1819, Swiss to Rio de Janeiro. After independence from Portugal, the Brazilian Empire focused on the occupation of the provinces of Southern Brazil. It was mainly because Southern Brazil had a small population, vulnerable to attacks by Argentina and the Kaingang Indians. [11]

From 1824, immigrants from Central Europe started to populate what is nowadays the region of São Leopoldo, in the province of Rio Grande do Sul. According to Leo Waibel, these German immigrants were mainly "oppressed peasants and former soldiers of the army of Napoleon." In 1830 the government was prohibited from spending money with the settlement of immigrants. The provinces had to assist the newcomers. In 1859, Prussia prohibited immigration to Brazil. This was mainly because of complaints that Germans were being exploited in the coffee plantations of São Paulo. Still, between 1820 and 1876, 45,419 Germans immigrated to Brazil, the majority of them settling in the South of the country to work as small farmers.[12 ]

From 1820, when Brazil started to encourage the arrival of immigrants, until 1876, when a new round of immigration began, 350,117 immigrants entered Brazil. Of these, 45.73% were Portuguese, 35.74% of "other nationalities," 12.97% Germans, while Italians and Spaniards together did not reach 6%. The total number of immigrants per year ranged from 10,000 to 20,000, despite the 30,000 entries in 1876.[12 ]

Polish house in Paraná.

During a big part of the 19th century, immigration to Brazil was mainly composed of Portuguese, Germans and many other peoples who were brought to settle in rural communities. They received land, seed, livestock and other items to develop. In 1875, the entry of immigrants in Brazil suddenly grew due to the beginning of the great Italian immigration to Brazil. Until 1876, the Portuguese formed the biggest contingent of foreigners in the country, whereas in 1877 the number of Italians fold over the previous year. [11] These immigrants were attracted to settle in mountainous regions of southern Brazil.[13]

But from the 1880s, immigration to Brazil changed: a large mass of Europeans started to be brought to the country to work in the harvest of coffee.[14]

The coffee growers

A poster used in Japan to attract immigrants to Brazil. It says "Let's go to South America (Brazil) with the family."

From 1877 to 1903, 1,927,992 people entered Brazil, which makes an annual average of 71,000. The period was characterized by an intense immigration of Italians (58.49%) and a decrease on the participation of the Portuguese (20%).[12 ] In 1850, Brazil declared the end of the slave trade, while the country began to expand in the region of São Paulo the cultivation of coffee, where the workforce was predominantly composed of African slaves. The end of slavery culminated in a lack of workers. Farmers and the government did not accept the idea of importing workers from poorer regions of Brazil. The idea of working with the former slaves was widely rejected: to replace the slaves they decided to bring people from Europe, particularly from Italy.[15]

From 1904 to 1930, 2,142,781 immigrants came to Brazil - making an annual average of 79,000 people. The Italian immigration had, at this stage, a drastic reduction: their average annual entries from 1887 to 1903 was 58,000. In this period they were only 19,000 annually. The Portuguese constituted 38% of entries, followed by Spaniards with 22%. From 1914 to 1918, the entry of immigrants of "other nationalities" grew.[12 ] This category was composed of immigrants from Poland, Russia and Romania, who immigrated probably by political issues, as well as a number of Jewish immigrants, who arrived in the 1920s. The other important group was composed of Syrian and Lebanese peoples.

Italian immigrants in a factory of São Paulo.

From 1931 to 1963, 1,106,404 immigrants entered Brazil. The participation of the Japanese increased. From 1932 to 1935 immigrants from Japan constituted 30% of total admissions.[12 ]

The factory workers

In 1901, Italians were 90% of the factory workers of São Paulo city.[16] These immigrants were mostly former rural workers who left the coffee plantations to work in the industries of Brazil. In the 1950s, Brazil began an immigration to provide workers for Brazilian industries. In São Paulo, for example, between 1957 and 1961, more than 30% of the Spanish, over 50% of the Italian and 70% of the Greek immigrants were brought to work in factories.

The result of immigration to Brazil

African diaspora

Brazilians from Bahia with typical African-influenced clothes.

Due to the Atlantic slave trade, Brazil obtained 37% of all slaves brought to the Americas, about 3.6 million Africans, compared to the 500,000 brought to the United States.[17][18] As a result, Brazil has the largest population of African descent outside of Africa and the second largest black population in the world, next to Nigeria.[19] People of African descent made up the majority of the population until the late 19th century, when the massive entries of subsidized immigrants from Europe reduced the percentage of blacks and mulattoes in the country. As of 1800, Brazil was divided in 47% of blacks, 30% of mulattoes and 23% of whites. As of 1880, blacks were reduced to 20%, mulattoes increased to 42% and whites to 38%. In 1950, there were only 38% blacks and pardos, compared to 62% of whites. As of 1890, Amerindians composed 9% of Brazil's population, or 1.2 million people. As of 1991, the number decreased to 300,000, or 0.2%. In 2000, increased to 700,000, or 0.4%.[20]

The Brazilian Government includes "pretos" (blacks) and "pardos" (brown) as a single group: black or Afro-Brazilian[21][22]. Then, according to IBGE and Brazil's government, as of 2008, for the first time since the end of slavery in 1888, Brazil has a black majority. In 2008, there were 49.7% of blacks and 49.5% of whites.[23]

People of African descent are prevalent in the Northeastern states of Brazil, particularly in Bahia, which has the largest black population in the country, with 80% classifying themselves as black and multiracial.[24]

European diaspora

A Brazilian family of the 19th century.

The European diaspora in Brazil is mainly composed of Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and German people.[25] The Portuguese started arriving as early as 1500. The Portuguese settled in the entire Brazil, starting in small but continuous groups in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th century, large waves settled the country, even though the majority only came in the early 20th century, one century after the Independence. They brought the Portuguese language, the Roman Catholic religion and other cultural aspects to Brazil.

The first Italians arrived in 1875. Most arrived between 1886 and 1903,[12 ] settling in all the southern and southeastern states. [11] The Italians, compared to other immigrants, were easily integrated in Brazil. Nowadays, it's possible to find millions of their descendants from the southeastern state of Minas Gerais until the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, with the majority living in São Paulo (13 million)[26] and the highest percentage in Santa Catarina (65% being of Italian descent).[27]

In one hundred years (1872-1972) at least 5,350,889 immigrants came to Brazil, of whom 31.06% were Portuguese, 30.32% Italians, 13.38% Spaniards, 4.63% Japanese, 4.18% Germans and 16.42% of other unspecified nationalities.[9]

Brazilian people from Paraná celebrating the Ukrainian Easter.

In 1897, São Paulo had twice as many Italians as Brazilians in the city. According to the 1920 census, 35% of São Paulo city's inhabitants were foreign born, compared to 36% in New York City. São Paulo's cosmopolitan population could be compared to any major American city. About 75% of the immigrants were Latin Europeans, particularly from three major sources: Italy, Portugal and Spain. The rest came from different parts of Europe, the Middle East and Japan.[28] Some areas of the city remained almost exclusively settled by Italians until the arrival of waves of migrants from other parts of Brazil, particularly from the Northeast, starting in the late 1920s.

According to historian Samuel H. Lowrie, in the early 20th century the society of São Paulo was divided in three classes:[29]

  • The high group: composed of graduated people, mainly by Brazilians born to Brazilian parents, who were related to the high-class farmers or other people with privileges.
  • The working class: composed of immigrants and their second and third generations descendants. They were the most numerous group, mainly factory workers or traders.
  • The semi-dependent group: composed of former slaves and low-class workers of the Empire.

According to Lowrie, the fact that Brazil already had a long history of racial mixture and that most of the immigrants in São Paulo came from Latin European countries, reduced the cases of racism and mutual intolerance. However, the Brazilian high class was more intolerant, with most of them marrying other members of the elite. In some cases, to marry an immigrant was accepted if the person had achieved fortune or had some prestige. Lowrie reports that as much as 40% of the São Paulo high-class society mixed with an immigrant within the next three generations.

The low classes, mostly composed of former slaves, had an intensive process of intermarriage with the immigrants. In some generations, most of this population did not carry black traits anymore.

A Portuguese immigrant in Rio de Janeiro, 1895.

While in São Paulo the Italians predominated, in the city of Rio de Janeiro the Portuguese remained as the main group. In 1929, as many as 272,338 Portuguese immigrants were recorded in the Federal District of Brazil (nowadays the city of Rio de Janeiro). In comparison, Lisbon, the largest city in Portugal, had 591,939 inhabitants in 1930. Then, in 1929, Rio de Janeiro had more Portuguese born people than any other city in the world, except for Lisbon.[30 ]

In the South of Brazil, there were two main groups of immigrants: Germans and Italians. The Germans had been settling Southern Brazil since 1824. The first settlers came from Holstein, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Hannover. Then, predominated people from Hunsrück and Rhineland-Palatinate. Besides, people from Pomerania, Westphalia and Württemberg. For Rio Grande do Sul, with only 100,000 inhabitants in 1822, the arrival of 30,000 Germans from 1824 to 1874 had a great impact in many areas of the Province.[31] These immigrants were attracted to work as small farmers in the region of São Leopoldo. As a result of the great internal migration of people in Southern Brazil, Germans and second generation descendants started to move to other areas of the Province. A similar process has occurred in Santa Catarina, with initially two main destinations for German immigrants (Blumenau, created in 1850, and Joinville in 1851) and then the immigrants or their descendants moved to other areas. Arriving in larger numbers than Germans, in the 1870s, groups of Italians started settling northeast Rio Grande do Sul. Similar to Germans, they were also attracted to develop small familiar farming production. In Paraná, on the other hand, the main group of immigrants was composed of Eastern Europeans, particularly Poles.[32]

German kids in Blumenau, 1866.

In southern Brazil, the immigrants settled in colônias (colonies), which were rural areas, composed of many small farms, settled by the families. Some of these colonies had a great development and gave birth to major Brazilian cities, such as the former German community of Joinville (500,000 inhabitants - the largest city of the state of Santa Catarina) or the former Italian community of Caxias do Sul (405,858 inhabitants). Other colonies did not have a great development and remained small and agrarian. In these places, it is possible to feel more intensely the impact of the immigration, as many of these towns are still predominantly settled by a single ethnic group.

Some southern Brazilian towns with a notable main ancestry
Town name State Main ancestry Percentage
Nova Veneza Santa Catarina Italian 95% [33]
Pomerode Santa Catarina German 90% [34]
Prudentópolis Paraná Ukrainian 70% [35]
Treze Tílias Santa Catarina Austrian 60% [36]
Dom Feliciano Rio Grande do Sul Polish 90% [37]

Slave-immigrant transition

"Slavery in Brazil," by Debret.

Another important instance of forced migration has been the Atlantic slave trade. Millions of Africans were hunted down by rival African tribes or states, captured, and transported to slavery in Brazil for three centuries and half, adding to the demographic and racial composition of the country.

This immigration profile of Brazil really started to change in the second half of the 19th century during the Empire era. Dom Pedro II, the ruling Brazilian monarch, abolished slavery by an imperial decree in 1888. The Brazilian government thought that Brazil would only achieve progress by bringing in more European immigrants. He thus strongly encouraged immigration from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Middle East, Russian Empire and other regions and countries which were exporting lots of their own people to the New World from 1860 on, due to the accumulation of political and economic crises in Europe.

Group of Italian immigrants arriving in São Paulo.

At the same time, Brazil's economy, which was eminently agrarian at the time (coffee, cotton, tobacco, rubber and sugar cane being the main crops), needed able laborers once black slavery was ended. The choice of European immigrants was due to a long discussion about the ideal worker to substitute slaves after abolition and determined the changes of the Brazilian ethnic composition from the half of the 19th century to the early 20th century.

Since the agriculture, industry and services sectors were developing quickly and strongly in the South and Southeast, these provinces (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul) received the brunt of European immigration. Italians and Germans went mostly to the South; while many Italians, Middle Easterners, Portuguese and Spaniards went to the Southeast. In a later wave, towards the beginning of the 20th century, Japan also became an important source of immigrants, who, in their majority, established themselves in São Paulo and Paraná.


Immigration to Brazil, by Ethnic groups, periods from 1500 to 1933
Source: Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE)
Ethnic group 1500–1700 1701–1760 1761–1829 1830–1855 1856–1883 1884–1893 1894–1903 1904–1913 1914–1923 1924–1933
Africans 510,000 958,000 1,720,000 618,000
Portuguese 100,000 600,000 26,000 16,737 116,000 170,621 155,542 384,672 201,252 233,650
Italians 100,000 510,533 537,784 196,521 86,320 70,177
Spaniards 113,116 102,142 224,672 94,779 52,405
Germans 5,003 2,008 30,000 22,778 6,698 33,859 29,339 61,723
Japanese 11,868 20,398 110,191
Syrians and Lebanese 96 7,124 45,803 20,400 20,400
Others 66,524 42,820 109,222 51,493 164,586

Brazil's receiving structure, legislation and settlement policies for immigrants were much less organized than in Canada and the United States at the time. Nevertheless, an Immigrant's Hostel (Hospedaria dos Imigrantes) was built in 1886 in São Paulo, and quick admittance and recording routines for the throngs of immigrants arriving by ship at the seaports of Vitória, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Paranaguá, Florianópolis and Porto Alegre were established. The São Paulo site alone processed more than 2.5 million immigrants in its almost 100 years of continuous operation. People of more than 70 different nationalities were recorded.

Current trends

Immigrant's Hostel of São Paulo (1888).

After the First World War and during and after the Second World War three other waves of immigrants came to Brazil from Europe and Asia, in the wake of great disturbances caused by the wars. Jewish immigration became important. In the second half of the 20th century, immigration to Brazil was greatly reduced, in part because checks on entrance of foreigners became more rigid, but also because immigration pressures decreased as wealth and political and economic stability increased in those countries which contributed most. During the 1970s Brazil received a large number of Lebanese immigrants escaping the civil war, as well as a considerable number of Palestinians and Syrians. During the 1990s Brazil received small numbers of immigrants from the former republics of Yugoslavia, from Afghanistan and West Africa (mostly Angolans and Nigerians). Recent immigration is mainly constituted by Chinese and Koreans and, in a smaller degree, by Argentines and other Latin American immigrants.[38]

The increase in Bolivian immigrants in Brazil is one of the social consequences of the political crisis affecting that country.[39] The majority of the Bolivians come from cities such as La Paz, Sucre, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and Cochabamba. Usually they enter Brazil through Cuiabá, in Mato Grosso, or San Mathias, in Bolivia, which borders Caceres, Mato Grosso and Corumbá, in Mato Grosso do Sul. In Brazil the destination of cheap Bolivian labor is, generally, small factories controlled by Koreans. The largest concentration of Bolivians is in the city of São Paulo. Most people who work illegally in the clothing business in São Paulo are young, between 15 and 35 years old, with a medium level of education for men and a lower level for women. Most of them have little knowledge of Portuguese.

The sector that uses most illegal workers are the sweatshops, with 40% of the total, while the rest is spread between factory workers, maids, street vendors, construction workers and carpenters. The average salary for the textile workers is between 50 and 200 dollars a month. The food is very poor in the factories. Rice, potatoes, salad and sausage are usually on the menu. The workers rarely eat meat or eggs. The food is extremely inadequate for someone who works more than 17 hours a day. As a result, one of the workers explains that she wakes up the next day with no energy for another shift. In addition, children do not get proper nutrition and the parents are the ones who have to buy milk, vegetables and fruit. The workers get one-hour breaks for lunch and dinner and 15 minutes for breakfast.[40]

Between 1,200 and 1,500 Bolivian immigrants come to Brazil every month looking for a job. Most of them work in the illegal textile industry in the Greater São Paulo.[41] There are an estimated 200,000 Bolivians living in the Greater São Paulo, majority is of illegal immigrants.[42]

Investment of the Immigrant

Since October 2004, when the Ministry of Labor and Employment reduced investment restrictions on foreign individuals, investments have more than doubled, and most of them have gone to the tourism sector. According to the Ministry's general coordinator of Immigration, Paulo Sérgio, the amount rose from US$ 17 million to around US$ 42 million. This is productive investment, contributing to the formation of firms that will generate employment, work, and income. The foreigner invests, transfers these funds to the country through the Central Bank, incorporates these resources into the assets of a company here in the country, and, through this, are generating a large number of new jobs.

According to the coordinator, 320 foreign individuals have already received authorization to invest in the country. Each one of them generates at least 10 jobs. The state that has received the largest total investment from foreign individuals is Rio Grande do Norte, with US$ 10 million. In 2005, the largest volume of resources invested was in the Northeast, mainly in the tourism sector. They are often foreigners who come to the country, take an interest, and want to open a small hotel, a restaurant, or some other business activity connected with entertainment and tourism.

According to the secretary of Tourism of Rio Grande do Norte, Nelson Freire, domestic tourism increased 20% in the state in the first half of the year, in comparison with the same period last year, while foreign tourism grew more than 50%. The foreigner invests, generates employment and income, and injects hard currencies, such as the euro and the dollar, into the local economy, adding that Rio Grande do Norte created around 120 thousand direct jobs during the period and did around US$ 416 million in business. Bahia is the state that received the second largest amount invested by foreign individuals, with US$ 7.6 million, followed by São Paulo, Ceará, and Rio de Janeiro.[43]


Woman and her slaves in São Paulo, c. 1860 Barefooting among Blacks was the symbol for slavery; non-free Blacks.

As happened with several other countries in the Americas, such as the United States, which encountered immigration from many countries, Brazil quickly became a melting pot of races and nationalities, but being peculiar in the sense of having the highest degree of intermarriage in the world. Immigrants found there a strong social and cultural tolerance toward inter-racial marriage, with large numbers of mulattoes (white/black), caboclos (Indian/white) and mixed European/African/Indian people. Correspondingly, this free disposition of Brazilians toward inter-racial and inter-ethnic reproduction, though it was not accompanied by an entire lack of racism, reflected in low psychological and social barriers to intermarriage between Europeans, Middle Easterners and Asians of several origins, as well as between people of different religions.

Small southern Brazilian towns, such as Nova Veneza, have as much as 95% of their population of Italian descent.[33] Some cities, like Campinas, have more than 60% of their family surnames of Italian origin and Brazil is, with the USA, the country with the largest number of Italian descendants (more than 25 million), as well as Japanese and Germans. Some names of cities in the South, such as Blumenau, reflect its majority of German, Italian and other immigrants who, until the Second World War, preserved their language, education and customs in almost intact form. This policy resulted in the creation of vast areas where the main culture is not Portuguese in its origins, but is directly connected to the old country where these immigrants came from.

Dictator Getúlio Vargas, however, suppressed this during the war, out of fear of Axis spies and sabotage. Brazil may be also one of the very few countries to receive a large number of immigrants from the United States. Thousands of Americans from the South (including relatives of former president Jimmy Carter) fled to Brazil, after the American Civil War, and founded many cities, among them the important city of Americana.[44]

Italian disembarkment in Santos, 1907.

Brazilian demographers have long discussed the demographical impact of the wave of emigration in the late XIX and early XX centuries. According to Judicael Clevelário[45], most studies about the impact of immigration have followed Giorgio Mortara's conclusions in the 40's and 50's. Mortara[46] concluded that only about 15% of the demographic growth of Brazil, from 1840 and 1940 was due to immigration, and that the population of immigrant origin was of 16% of the total population of Brazil.

However, according to Clevelário, Mortara failed to properly take into account the full endogenous growth of the population of immigrant origin,[47] due to the predominantly rural settlement of the immigrants (rural regions tend to have higher natal rates than cities). Clevelário, then, besides extending the calculations up to 1980, remade them, reaching somewhat different conclusions.

One of the problems of calculating the impact of immigration in Brazilian demography is that the return rates of immigrants are unknown. Clevelário, thence, supposed four different hypothesis concerning the return rates. The first, that he deems unrealistic high, is that 50% of the immigrants to Brazil returned to their countries of origin. The second is based on the work of Arthur Neiva, who supposes the return rate for Brazil was higher than that of USA (30%) but lower than that of Argentina (47%). The third hypothesis is taken from Mortara, who postulates a rate of 20% for the XIX century, 35% for the first two decades of the XX century, and 25% for 1920 on. Although Mortara himself considered this hypothesis underestimated, Clevelário thinks it is closest to reality. The last hypothesis, also admittedly unrealistic is that of a 0% rate of return, which is known to be false.[48]

Clevelário's conclusions are as following: considering hypothesis 1 (unrealistically low), the Population of Immigrant Origin in 1980 would be of 14,730,710 people, or 12.38% of the total population. Considering hypothesis 2 (based on Neiva), it would be of 17,609,052 people, or 14.60% of the total population. Considering hypothesis 3 (based on Mortara, and considered most realistic), it would be of 22,088,829 people, or 18.56% of the total population. Considering hypothesis 4 (no return at all), the Population of Immigrant origin would be of 29,348,423 people, or 24.66% of the total population[49]

Passport of a Portuguese immigrant, 1927.

Clevelário believes the most probable number to be close to 18%, higher than Mortara's previous estimate of 1947[50]

According to the Census of 1872, Black and "Brown" people made up the majority (58%) of Brazil's population. The White population grew faster than the non-White population due to the subsidized immigration of Europeans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As of 1890, the African-descended population was reduced to 47% and the Amerindian to 9%.[51] During this period, most immigrants came from Italy (58.49%) followed by Portugal with 20%.[12 ]

The disproportionally fast growth of the White population, due to mass immigration, lasted up to 1940, when its proportion in the Brazilian population peaked at 63.5%[51]. During the 1900-1940 period, Italian immigration was greatly reduced, due to the Prinetti decree, forbidding subsidized emigration to Brazil (1902), then to the Italian war effort of 1915-1918. Thence, for the period of 1904-1940, Portuguese immigration became the main drive of immigration to Brazil, with 36.52% of the arrivals, compared to 14.99% of Italians[12 ].

Total of entries of immigrants in the Port of Santos, São Paulo (1908-1936) - Gender[30 ].
Nationalities Total  % Male  % Female
Portuguese 275,257 67.9 32.1
Spaniards 209,282 59.4 40.6
Italians 202,749 64.7 35.3
Japanese 176,775 56.2 43.8
Germans 43,989 64.3 35.7
Turks 26,321 73.4 26.6
Romanians 23,756 53.2 46.7
Yugoslavians 21,209 52.1 47.9
Lithuanians 20,918 58.6 41.4
Syrians 17,275 65.4 34.6
Poles 15,220 61.9 38.1
Austrians 15,041 72.7 27.3
Others 47,664 64.9 35.1
Total 1,221,282 63.8 36.2
Main groups of settlers and immigrants in Brazil, from 1500 to 1970
Nationality/origin Number of settlers Number of Brazilian descendants
Africans 1 4,000,000 Most of the population[52]
Flag of Portugal.svg Portuguese 2,450,000 Most of the population[53]
Flag of Italy.svg Italians 1,622,491 25 million[54]
Flag of Spain.svg Spaniards 716,052 15 million[55]
Flag of Japan.svg Japanese 248,007 1.6 million.[56]
Flag of Germany.svg Germans 2 240,000 Between 5 and 18 million[57][58]
Flag of Poland.svg Poles 3 110,243 1.8 million[59]
Note 1: It includes all people who were brought from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Note 2: It does not include Germans who immigrated with Russian passports (see Volga Germans)
Note 3: Most of the Poles immigrated to Brazil with Russian passports

See also


  1. ^ Darcy Ribeiro, O Povo Brasileiro, page 16
  2. ^ Os migrantes de hoje
  3. ^ "The Phylogeography of Brazilian Y-Chromosome Lineages". American Journal of Human Genetics. January 2001. Retrieved 2009-01-16.  
  4. ^ Immigrant population in 2008 - BBC Brazil
  5. ^ "Brazilian Dream" - BBC Brazil
  6. ^ Immigrant population by State - 2008
  7. ^ ÍNDIOS DO BRASIL - história, cultura, sociedade indígena, arte, tribos
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Levy MS (June 1974). "[The role of international migration on the evolution of the Brazilian population (1872 to 1972)"] (in Portuguese). Rev Saude Publica Suppl: 49–90. PMID 4438969.  
  10. ^ a b Brasil 500 anos
  11. ^ a b c O papel da migração internacional na evolução da população brasileira (1872 a 1972)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Entrada de estrangeiros no Brasil
  13. ^ RS VIRTUAL - O Rio Grande do Sul na Internet - História - Colonização - Italianos - Os homens do vinho ficaram nas terras altas
  14. ^ Café atrai imigrante europeu para o Brasil - 22/02/2005 - Resumos | História do Brasil
  15. ^ Start of the immigration to Brazil
  16. ^ Gli italiani in Brasile
  17. ^ Can Brazil’s Quilombos Survive?
  18. ^ Slavery North-USA
  19. ^ Nigéria quer melhorar relações culturais com Brasil
  20. ^ IBGE 2008
  21. ^ Maior população negra do País
  22. ^ IBGE distribuição negros
  23. ^ Brasil passa a ter maioria negra em 2008, diz Ipea
  24. ^ IBGE Bahia
  25. ^ The Phylogeography of Brazilian Y-Chromosome Lineages
  26. ^ [ Italianos - História da Comunidade[
  27. ^ A Pequena itália
  28. ^
  29. ^ A cidade de São Paulo
  30. ^ a b Imigração portuguesa
  31. ^ História - Colonização - Alemães, <> Accesso em: 20 de outubro de 2007
  32. ^ Outras Etnias, <>. Accesso em: 11 de outubro de 2008
  33. ^ a b Nova Veneza
  35. ^ Ucranianos no Brasil
  36. ^ História de Treze Tílias
  37. ^ Prefeitura de D. Feliciano
  38. ^ Brasil: migrações internacionais e identidade
  39. ^ Professor says increased Bolivian immigration to Brazil is due to crisis there
  40. ^ Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos
  41. ^ Cláudia Rolli, Fátima Fernandes. Até 1.500 bolivianos chegam por mês. Folha de São Paulo (December 16, 2007)
  42. ^ Veja 19/7/2000
  43. ^ Immigrants are investing more in Brazil
  44. ^ / The Deepest South
  45. ^
  46. ^ Mortara, Giorgio. O aumento da população do Brasil entre 1872 e 1940.
  47. ^ p.52
  48. ^ p.57
  49. ^ Table 5, p.59; Table 6, p.60.
  50. ^ . Abstract, p. 71.
  51. ^ a b IBGE 2008 Cor ou Raça
  52. ^ Estudos Avançados - Pode a genética definir quem deve se beneficiar das cotas universitárias e demais ações afirmativas?
  53. ^ Os Genes de Cabral
  54. ^ People of Italian descent in Brazil
  55. ^ People of Spanish descent in Brazil
  56. ^ People of Japanese descent in Brazil
  57. ^ As diferentes fases da imigração alemã no Brasil
  58. ^ "Brasil alemão" comemora 180 anos
  59. ^ People of Polish descent in Brazil

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