Afro-Brazilian workers now earn 59% of the salary of white workers; in 2003 they earned 48%

The greatest disparity between white and black income was observed in the metropolitan area of Salvador, Bahia

Note from BW of Brazil: There is perhaps no better way of analyzing social/racial inequality in a society than by assessing the numbers. And one of the best stats that provide a glimpse of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is average income according to race. And as can be noted in nearly every other area of Brazilian society, Afro-Brazilians significantly lag behind whites. This disparity has in fact improved over the past 12 years, perhaps due to the fact that it has been in the past 12 years that affirmative action policies have been implemented throughout the country. Only the future will tell if the reduction of this gap will continue to fall as Afro-Brazilians continue to improve their positions in the educational and labor sectors.

The gap between whites and blacks in the labor market

In 13 years, income of pretos (blacks) and pardos (browns) advanced more than that of whites, but disparity is still stark

Courtesy of Carta Capital

The greatest disparity between white and black (pretos and pardos) income was observed in the metropolitan area of Salvador, Bahia

The income of preto or pardo workers grew 52.6% between 2003 and 2015. Among white workers, the growth was 25%.

The significant growth over the past 13 years, a period that includes the Lula and Dilma Rousseff governments, however, was not enough to reverse the portrait of racial inequality.

Announced on Thursday the 28th by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the data are part of the Pesquisa Mensal de Emprego (PME or Monthly Employment Study).

Preto or pardo employed workers earned on average in 2015, 59.2% of the income earned by white workers. The IBGE pointed out, however, the fact that in 2003 the percentage was less than half (48.4%).


Annual percentage of branco (white) salaries that pretos and pardos receive from principal job according to major city. Source: IBGE

The survey was conducted in six metropolitan areas (Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre) and interviewed 120,000 people in 45,000 households.

The greatest disparity between salary of whites and blacks was observed in the metropolitan area of Salvador (capital of Bahia), where black and brown workers receive only 48% of white income. In 2003, the rate was even lower, only 32.3%. The difference is most striking when one considers that Salvador is the city with the highest number of pretos and pardos in Brazil, nearly 80% of the local population, according to the Mapa da População Preta e Parda do Brasil (Map of the Black and Brown Population in Brazil), released in 2010.

The PME produces monthly indicators about the labor force for assessing the fluctuations and tendencies in the medium and long term, of the labor market in its areas of coverage. It is an agile indicator of the effects of economic conditions on that market, besides meeting other important needs for socio-economic planning in the country.

Source: Carta Capital

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

1 Comment

  1. This is pretty great news! I suspect that we will continue to see improvements as more Blacks become entreprenurial and more of them take advantage of the affirmative action policies (since the whole society seems to be set up to allow people who score high on the “concursos” to get an overpaid government job that they sleep at during their working years, retire from at a ridiculously young age with a full salary, and continue to get a full salary after they die). As it continues to become clear that the ridiculous government job for life and after death is pretty unsustainable, and as major cuts continue to be made during the financial crisis, I suspect that we will continue to see the rise of Black Brazilians – the only ones in the whole freakin country who know actual trades and have practical skills.

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