For the first time since records began black and mixed race people form the majority of Brazil’s population, the country’s latest census has confirmed.
Preliminary results from the 2010 census, released on Wednesday, show that 97 million Brazilians, or 50.7% of the population, now define themselves as black or mixed race, compared with 91 million or 47.7% who label themselves white.
The proportion of Brazilians declaring themselves white was down from 53.7% in 2000, when Brazil’s last census was held.
But the proportion of people declaring themselves black or mixed race has risen from 44.7% to 50.7%, making African-Brazilians the official majority for the first time.
“Among the hypotheses to explain this trend, one could highlight the valorisation of identity among Afro-descendants,” Brazil’s census board, the IBGE, said in its report.
According to the census, 7.6% of Brazilians said they were black, compared with 6.2% in 2000, and 43.1% said they were mixed race, up from 38.5%.
Ethiopia is the third biggest. With about 94 million people.