Mariano Castillo – CNN, 06/16/2011
*Brazil Institute Director, Paulo Sotero, speaks about racial equality in Brazil
The growing influence of Brazil’s minority populations has not just created new opportunities for black and mixed-race Brazilians — it has shifted demographics.
Results from Brazil’s 2010 census, released in late April, show that Brazil is now a minority-majority country. The white population dropped below 50% of the total for the first time, to about 48%. But some say it may have been that way all along, but the statistics did not reflect the reality.
Although the birthrates of blacks and pardos — the Brazilian term for mestizos, or people of mixed European and Native American heritage — remain higher than for whites, experts don’t cite that as the reason for the shift. Instead, they say that more Brazilians than ever are self-identifying as black or pardo, whereas in the past they would have checked off the box for “white.”