Income Gap between Rich and Poor Reaches Record in Brazil

Study shows that inequality increase coincided with decrease in Bolsa Familia support

Fernando Canzian
São Paulo

The average monthly income of the richest 1% of the Brazilian population reached, in 2018, the equivalent of 33.8 times the income of the poorest 50%. At the top, the average yield was R$ 27,744; in the poorest half, R$820.

The difference between the incomes obtained by the richest 1% and the poorest 50% last year is a record in IBGE's historical series of PNADC (National Continuous Household Sample Survey), which began in 2012.

Faria Lima Ave., in São Paulo (Foto: Zanone Fraissat/Folhapress, COTIDIANO)

Inequality has increased because the real income of the richest increased more than the poorer half, especially in recent years.

For the research manager, Maria Lúcia Vieira, the increase in inequality reflects the recession in the labor market in recent years, which mainly impacts those who have less formal occupations.

"The poor end up suffering more than those with a work card or civil servants, for example," she said in an interview on Wednesday to comment on the survey.

From 2017 to 2018, for example, the gain of the poorest 10% fell 3.2% (to $ 153 on average) while the richest 1% increased 8.4% (to $ 27,774).

Since the beginning of the survey, and coinciding with the increase in inequality, there has also been a decrease in total households served by Bolsa Familia, from 15.9% in the country's total in 2012 to 13.7% in 2018.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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