Children on a playground in the Favela Mangueira in Rio de Janeiro

Social situation Big development progress and big challenges

Since 2003, social policies have led to big progress being made in Brazil, with more than 15 million new jobs being created, minimum wages and pensions rising continuously, and incomes growing.

Brazil launched the world's biggest poverty reduction programme and a large-scale social housing programme. In addition, large parts of the country have been connected to the power grid and a reform of land rights has been pushed through.

Whereas, in 1992, one fifth of the Brazilian population was still living in extreme poverty, in 2014 that figure was only 2.8 per cent. However, in recent years the number of poor people has risen again.

Young, well-educated adults living in the cities, who have seen their jobs go in the wake of the most recent economic crisis, are particularly affected. Considerable regional disparities also remain. What is more, Brazil is still one of the countries with the biggest disparities in income development. Its Gini co-efficient, which measures income inequality, is still one of the biggest in the world.

Human rights

On the international stage, the Brazilian government acknowledges its obligation to protect human rights. There is considerable need for action with regard to ensuring all the rights of the individual inside the country. The level of violence in Brazil and the country's murder rate are among the highest in the world. For many people living in the megacities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, in particular, drug- and gang-related crime are part of everyday life. The police often respond with excessive force. Human rights observers regularly dispatch reports that point to extra-judicial killings by police officers.