Brazil’s poor earning more, but still ignored

Deutsche Welle , 11/13/2012

Few countries can boast income inequality quite like Brazil. Now, current research shows that the incomes of low earners in Brazil have risen rapidly. But, will the improvements really help the country’s poor?

The perception that social inequality has been declining in Brazil can now be backed up with data. A study from the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), a Brazilian institution that works closely with the national government, shows a rapid retreat in economic disparity over the last 10 years. Inequality is now at its lowest point since census data began in the 1950s, the researchers say.

During the period between 2001 and 2011, income levels for Brazil’s poorest increased much faster than for the richest. The poorest 10 percent of the population nearly doubled their income during that time, while the richest increased their earnings by just one-sixth.

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The north-east: Still trying to catch up

David White-The Financial Times, 11/04/09

Perceptions about Brazil’s north-east are changing. A region long identified with hardship, drought, legendary bandits and social injustice is no longer seen just as a case for treatment, but as a largely untapped source of growth.

During the past few years the north-east – up to now the largest concentration of poverty in the Americas – has been narrowing the income gap with the rest of Brazil.

The region had the fastest growth in household income per capita between 2003 and 2008, according to the Centre for Social Policies at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in Rio de Janeiro, although it continued to have the highest poverty rate.

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