Spanish Brazilian: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spanish Brazilian
Hispano brasileño · Hispano-brasileiro
Luciana Gimenez.jpgAna Beatriz Barros.jpg
Dado Dolabella.jpgIvete Sangalo.jpg
Luciana Gimenez · Ana Beatriz Barros[1] ·

Dado Dolabella [2]  · Ivete Sangalo [3]

Total population
15,000,000 Brazilians [4]
Regions with significant populations
Mainly Southeastern Brazil
(particularly São Paulo)

Portuguese, Spanish


Roman Catholic · Protestant · Jewish minority

Related ethnic groups

White Brazilian, Spanish people, Galician, Basque Catalan , Italian people Portuguese Brazilians,

Spanish-Brazilian (Spanish: hispanobrasileño, Portuguese: Hispano-brasileiro) is a Brazilian person of full, partial, or predominantly Spanish ancestry, or a Spanish-born person residing in Brazil. Spanish is the fifth largest ancestry in the ethnic formation of Brazil, behind the Portuguese, African, Amerindian and Italian, and ahead of German, Arab and Japanese.



Within the history of ethnic and cultural formation of the Brazilian people, the Spanish is a national group that was and still is, in most cases, omitted or treated briefly or superficially by most scholars of this subject. Compared to other ethnic groups such as Italians, Germans, Japanese, Arabs and Slavs, subjects of numerous and extensive studies, there are no records that the Spanish Brazilian group has been treated with the same interest, even though they compose one of the largest populations in Brazil. It is estimated that currently there are in Brazil 15 million Brazilians of Spanish origin [4]. The figure is lower than the estimated 25 million of Italian origin, but is higher than the 5 million of German or the 1.4 million of Japanese backgrounds, even though studies about the German or Japanese immigration to Brazil are much more common.

Unlike other ethnic groups in Brazil, such as Germans, Japanese and Italians, Spaniards were integrated so fast in the Brazilian society that have barely managed to leave an imprint of their national characteristics. Today it is even difficult to discern the origin of many Hispanic surnames in Brazilians, since many have Galician origins or had their Spanish family names changed to the Portuguese spelling.



Early immigration

Spanish exploration of Brazil's deep interior preceded that of the Portuguese, commencing with Orellana's navigation of the Amazon River in 1542. There were many explorations, especially in those areas that are near Brazil's peripheral regions near present day Spanish speaking neighbours. For a long time Spain claimed more than half of what is today's Brazilian territory.

During the 16th and 17th centuries many Spanish soldiers, missionaries and adventurers had established pioneering communities under the Crown of Spain, primarily in Paraná, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and forts on the northeastern coast threatened by the French and Dutch.

The expansion of Portuguese-Brazilian settlements into these Spanish territories was a gradual process which began during the time of the Iberian Union (1580 - 1640) when the borders between the South American territorial possessions of Spain and Portugal were ignored. When the union broke it continued in the form of a defacto low intensity guerrilla war of creeping occupation led by the Bandeirantes.

By the middle of the 18th century most of the Spanish territories that now lie within today's Brazil were effectively under Portuguese-Brazilian occupation; a fact recognised in 1750, when formal sovereignty over a vast area was transferred from Spain to Portugal by the Treaty of Madrid. As Portuguese-Brazil expanded into these areas these Spanish groups were integrated into Brazilian society, leaving little trace of their cultural peculiarities. Only some Castilians who were displaced from the disputed areas of the Pampas of Rio Grande do Sul left a significant influence on the formation of the gaucho, when they mixed with Indian groups, Portuguese and blacks who moved to the region during the 18th century.

Large waves

It is estimated that since Brazil's independence (1822) some 750,000 Spaniards have entered Brazil. This figure represents between 12.5% and 14% of all foreigners entering Brazil since its independence and puts the Spaniards in the third place among immigrants in Brazil, behind the Portuguese and Italians. Immigrants of Spanish origin were among those who had a higher rate of permanent residence in Brazil, overtaken by the Japanese but above nationalities such as Portuguese, Italian or German. This may be due to the large number of families traveling with passage paid by the Brazilian government that left their native Spain to work on coffee plantations of the state of São Paulo. Most Spaniards entered Brazil between 1880 and 1930, with the peak period between 1905 and 1919, when they overcome the entry of Italians.[5 ]

The main area of destination for Spaniards was the state of São Paulo, although the percentages of attraction to this state vary between 66% and 78% in different sources. The second largest contingent was deployed in Rio de Janeiro, while other states such as Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Mato Grosso, Pará and Bahia received smaller groups. Most Spaniards in Brazil came from the Galicia and Andalusia regions of Spain. Galician smallholders settled mainly in urban areas of Brazil. Starting in the early 20th century, most Spanish immigrants were Andalusian peasants who worked in the coffee plantations, mainly in rural areas of São Paulo State.[6][7]

The profile of the Spanish immigrants during the period 1908-26 shows that only 17.3% immigrated without the family, 81.4% were farmers, only 2.2% were artisans or skilled workers and 16.3% were in category of "others". These data reflect that the Spanish immigration was not very diversified and qualified and had a low mobility since it was subsidized by the Brazilian Government, then the immigrants were not free to decide where to work. In this way, the vast majority of those who came to São Paulo were directly taken to the coffee farms without having the opportunity to settle rural communities as land owners, or work in urban jobs.

One factor that contributed to the more rapid process of assimilation and acculturation of the community of Spanish origin in Brazil was, in addition to linguistic and cultural proximity (accentuated by the high presence of Galicians), the ease with which both Spanish men and women married Brazilians: 64.7% of Spanish men married Brazilian women and 47.2% of Spanish women married Brazilian men. Despite this process of assimilation, the Spanish Brazilian influence is large when one take the presence of their descendants in Brazil:

  • - One in four people of the state of São Paulo has at least one Spanish ancestor.
  • - The conurbation of São Paulo has as many Spaniards as the metropolitan area of Barcelona.
  • - The city with most people of Andalusian origin is São Paulo, not Seville.
  • - One in ten people in Salvador, Bahia has some Galician descent.

Numbers of immigrants

Spanish settlement in Brazil
Source: (IBGE)[8]
Ethnic group 1884-1893 1894-1903 1904-1913 1914-1923 1924-1933 1945-1949 1950-1954 1955-1959
Spaniards 113,116 102,142 224,672 94,779 52,405 40,092 53,357 38,819

Notable Spanish-Brazilians



  • SANCHEZ ALBORNOZ, N. La Población de América Latina. Ed. Alianza América.
  • DIEGUES JÚNIOR, M. Regioes culturais do Brasil. Centro de pesquisas educacionais. INEP-MEC.1960.
  • MEIJIDE PARDO, A. Brasil, la gran potencia del siglo XXI.
  • DE SOUZA MARTINS, J. La inmigración española en Brasil. Dentro de Españoles hacia América. La emigración en masa, 1880-1930. De Sanchez Albornoz.
  • PINTO DO CARMO. Algunas figuras españolas en la prosa brasileña de ficción. Revista de Cultura Brasileña. nº35. 1973.

See also


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address