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Brazil Essay

559 words - 3 pages

Brazil is a country that has seen income inequality drop of the last decade, unemployment is at near record lows, and there has been substantial middle class growth. By most estimates, 40 million people have been pulled out of poverty in the last decade and extreme poverty had been reduced by 89 percent. Nocera, Joe; "Does Brazil Have the Answer," The New York Times, 20 Jan, 2014.
Brazil is the largest of the Latin American countries and covers nearly half (47.3%) of the continent of South America. It occupies an area of 3,386, 470 square miles and is the fifth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, and the United States.
According to the Central Intelligence Agencies World Fact Book, Brazil's economy is characterized by a large and well-developed agriculture, mining, manufacturing , and service sector. Once a third world country, Brazil has experienced ...view middle of the document...

However, Brazil was one of the first emerging markets to begin a recovery. In 2010, consumer and investor confidence revived and GDP growth reached 7.5%, the highest growth rate in the past 25 years. Rising inflation led the authorities to take measures to cool the economy; these actions and the deteriorating international economic situation slowed growth in 2011-13. Unemployment is at historic lows and Brazil's traditionally high level of income inequality has declined for each of the last 14 years. Brazil's historically high interest rates have made it an attractive destination for foreign investors. Large capital inflows over the past several years have contributed to the appreciation of the currency, hurting the competitiveness of Brazilian manufacturing and leading the government to intervene in foreign exchange markets and raise taxes on some foreign capital inflows.

Brazil's rapid fertility decline since the 1960s is the main factor behind the country's slowing population growth rate, aging population, and fast-paced demographic transition. Brasilia has not taken full advantage of its large working-age population to develop its human capital and strengthen its social and economic institutions but is funding a study abroad program to bring advanced skills back to the country. The current favorable age structure will begin to shift around 2025, with the labor force shrinking and the elderly starting to compose an increasing share of the total population. Well-funded public pensions have nearly wiped out poverty among the elderly, and Bolsa Familia and other social programs have lifted tens of millions out of poverty. More than half of Brazil's population is considered middle class, but poverty and income inequality levels remain high; the Northeast, North, and Center-West, women, and black, mixed race, and indigenous populations are disproportionately affected. Disparities in opportunities foster social exclusion and contribute to Brazil's high crime rate, particularly violent crime in cities and favelas (slums). Index

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