This article has been written in participation to Future Challenge, for the Bertelsmann Foundation.
The way which the new middle class in Brazil has grown made the country distinctive from the other BRICS emerging countries, says Marcelo Neri, economist who spent several years monitoring the “C” middle class in Brazil which is one of five official classes (see figure below), counted 54% of the 182 million in 2009.
The powerful role of the new middle class in Brazil drives Brazilian markets with purchasing power counts as 46.24% in 2009 from 45.66% in 2008 even more than A&B classes together; Moreover, it could decide Brazil political future with 50.5% of total voters, said Marcelo.
Changing life style of millions of Brazilians was an outgrowth of 8 years of two presidential terms of Brazil’s ex-President between 2003 and 2011, Lula da Silva, who is himself from a humble family.
According to Brazilian government statistics, Brazilian middle class reached 95 million in 2009 which representing more than half of Brazil’s population; while a social study shows that 31 million have been lifted from poverty from 1999-2009.
The 2009 data shows that 89% of Brazil’s middle class population lives in urban areas, which 48% of them lives in the Southeast. Santa Catarina (64%), São Paulo (61%) and Rio Grande do Sul (60%) are respectively the states with the highest percentage of their populations in the middle class.
The middle class defined in Brazil as the segment of the population with a monthly income per capita of more than 1,000 reals, (500 $ in days exchanges rates). Whereas 60 million workers of the 104 million Brazilian labor market belong to the middle class.
Also, experts in Brazilian economy divided the middle class into 2 groups: Traditional and New middle class; says Rachel Glickhouse on his article: The evolving identity of Brazil’s middle class in The Christian Science Monitor.
“Traditional” one is somehow closer to upper class than working class that are educated professionals who own their homes, pay for private health care, take international vacations, buy name brand clothing, and likely speak another language. While the population of “New” middle class have lower levels of education, tend to be first-time homeowners, buying their first electronics applicants, tend to be newer to technology and the internet, and they’re far less likely to speak another language.
On 5th of July 2011, Cetelem BGN (Company of BNP Paribas Group) posted on its blog ‘Observador Brasil 2012’:
Mais de 39.5 milhões de brasileiros passaram para a classe C entre 2003 e 2011, segundo pesquisa da FGV (Fundação Getúlio Vargas)
More than 39.5million Brazilians have joined the Class C between 2003 and 2011, according to research by FGV (Getulio Vargas foundation)
In a recent research, back to the country of the future, in March 2012 by Marcelo Neri, he estimated that “C” middle class in Brazil will be 118 million Brazilians while poverty would fall 40% and AB class will rise 40%.
The future definitely looks bright for Brazil.