Race and Economic development in Brazil

This is a link to a nice story taken from Bloomberg about the issue of racial discrimination in Brazil. As the article states “A commodities-led boom is fueling growth; the real beat the Swiss franc as the best-performing major currency during the 12 months through yesterday, gaining 22 percent against the dollar to the franc’s 20 percent; Brazil’s stock market was No. 1 among the 10 largest over the same period, surging 18.75 percent; and Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have raised the country’s debt rating to investment grade for the first time”

However amongst a number of social, environmental and cultural problems that still face Brazil, the race issue is still something that is rarely openly debated.

“Blacks — defined by the government and nongovernmental organizations as people who describe themselves as either “preta” (black) or mixed-race “parda” (brown) — make up almost half of the population. Of the nation’s more than 187 million people, 92.7 million are black and 93.1 million are white; Asians, Indians and those who haven’t declared a race make up the rest. On average, they earn little more than half as much as whites, 578.2 reais ($361) a month compared with 1,087.1 reais, according to a report based on 2006 data by IPEA Institute for Applied Economic Research, a government group in Brasilia.”

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