Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Emigration From Brazil

Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Growing economy, growing job opportunities, growing investments. Brazil is far from an economical crisis, but many Brazilians choose to live in other countries. This article will cover this emigration movement.

Brazil’s full employment was a subject frequently cited in the past year by the press and the government. So far, this condition has not been reached but unemployment rates have been kept under control. Even so, many Brazilians leave the country, emigrating mainly for developed nations.

The emigration from Brazil increased between the 1980s and the 1990s. Successive economic crises happened in this period, leading to a growing number of firings and high inflation rates.

In search of better conditions, several families left the country looking for job opportunities. At first, some Brazilians went looking for work in neighboring countries like Paraguay, but the United States, Europe and Japan quickly became popular destinations.

Current Overview

Today, the Brazilian scenario is very different from the one seen during the end of the military regime and the birth of the presidential republic in the late '80s. Even so, the amount of people living abroad is much higher than the observed 30 years ago.

The Ministry of External Relations or MRE, short forMinistério das Relações Exteriores,estimates that over 2.5 million Brazilians live in other countries, although his number is not exact since there aren't any completely efficient methods to calculate this data.

One example of the inaccuracy is the latest census realized in Brazil. It pointed out that less than 500,000 people were living abroad. This number is considered to be distorted due to lack of information during the research, and much farther from reality than the one presented by MRE.

Main Reasons

The biggest reason on why Brazilians are leaving the country is still the search of employment, as shown on a research made by International Centre for Migration Policy Development or ICMPD. Also, in the past years, many people moved in order to be close to their relatives or families. The entity affirms that a big part of this is made irregularly.

ICMPD also showed that there is a growing emigration of Brazilians to Europe. Among the reasons for emigrating to Europe is the fact that moving to European nations is usually cheaper and easier than going to the United States, declares the entity. Portugal is historically one of the favorite destinations due to the language similarity.

Where are Brazilians Going?

The Ministry of External Relations affirms that the population living abroad is distributed in over 190 countries worldwide. The main destination is the United States, responsible for almost 42% of all the Brazilian emigration.

The table below shows the ten most popular destinations for people leaving Brazil to settle in another country, according to the Ministry of External Relations:

Country Number of Brazilians
United States 1,066,500
Japan 210,000
Paraguay 201,500
Portugal 140,400
Spain 128,200
United Kingdom 118,000
Germany 95,100
Italy 67,000
France 44,600
Switzerland 44,000

Other Data

The demographic census, realized in every ten years by IBGE or Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, presents some other information about the Brazilian population that decided to move to another country. Below are some of the most recent available results, which are part of the census realized in 2010. Even though the nominal amounts nowadays might be inaccurate, the percentage of distribution can be considered up-to-date.

* Gender: around 53% of the Brazilians living abroad are women.

* Age: almost 60% of the Brazilians that emigrated are between 20 and 34 years old.

* Origin: half of the population that left the country used to live in the southeast region. 21.6% used to live in the state of São Paulo.