NEWS IN ENGLISH – New study shows that over 50% of Brazilians are in the middle class

21/09/2012 10:40

Yara Aquino      Reporter Agência Brasil

Brasília – A study entitled Voices of the Middle Class (“Vozes da Classe Média”) by the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs (“SAE”) that is housed in the Presidency, reports that 104 million Brazilians, 53% of the population, are in the country’s middle class.

The study classifies a Brazilian middle class family as one with little probability of falling into poverty in the near future where per capita monthly income is between R$291 and R$1,019.

The SAE study found that over the last decade, from 2002 to 2012, social mobility was stronger from the bottom to the middle, than from the middle to the top. In other words, while 21% of the Brazilian population moved up from the lower part of the social pyramid into the middle class, only 6% made it out of the middle class into the upper class.  The study points out that the expansion of the middle class was due to growth along with a reduction of inequality. And goes on to estimate that at the present rate of growth and inequality reduction, by the year 2022 the percentage of the Brazilian population that is middle class will rise to 57%.

The head of the SAE, minister Moreira Franco, highlights the importance of the growth of the middle class as a dynamic force in economic expansion, pointing out that it responds for over a third of income and consumption (the figure used was 38%).

Moreira Franco went on to say: “Eighteen million jobs were created in the last decade as part of a salary policy that raised the minimum wage above inflation rates so there was a real gain for workers.” As a result, middle class income rose 3.5% per year, compared to an average 2.4% for the country.

According to Renato Meirelles of the research institute, Data Popular, that participated in the SAE study, “This middle class will spend R$1 trillion this year.”

Besides Data Popular, the SAE study used information in surveys by the government statistical bureau (IBGE”), the Applied Economic Research Institute (“Ipea”) and the National Confederation of Industry (“CNI”).

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

Link - Mais de 50% dos brasileiros estão na classe média