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IBGE releases the population estimates of the municipalities in 2012

Source: IBGE, Directorate of Survey – DPE, Department of Social Indicators - Copis

Capitals apart, the most populous municipalities are Guarulhos (1.24 million), Campinas (1.09 million), São Gonçalo (1.01 million), Duque de Caxias (867.06 thousand), Nova Iguaçu (801.74 thousand) and São Bernardo do Campo (774.88 thousand). The 15 most populous municipalities, with the exception of the capitals, account for 11.47 million inhabitants, representing 5.92% of the overall of Brazil’s population.


Source: IBGE, Directorate of Survey – DPE, Department of Social Indicators - Copis


Borá (807 inhabitants), in São Paulo, and Serra da Saudade (807 inhabitants), in Minas Gerais, are tied up in the first position among the 15 least populous municipalities in 2012: they are the only municipalities with less than a thousand inhabitants. The 15 least populous municipalities in Brazil total 17,621 inhabitants, representing approximately 0.01% of the country’s population.



IBGE releases today, August 31, 2012, the estimates of the population living in the 5,565 Brazilian municipalities with a reference date set on July 1, 2012. According to the estimates, there are in Brazil 193,946,886 inhabitants, which mean 3,191,087 more people than in 2010, when the population hit 190,755,799. São Paulo is still the most populous city, with 11.37 million inhabitants, followed by Rio de Janeiro (6.39 million), Salvador (2.71 million), Brasília (2.64 million) and Fortaleza (2.50 million).  In relation to 2010, the list of the 15 most populous municipalities remained unchanged. Together, they account for 40.75 million inhabitants, which represent 21.02% of the population.

The population estimates are essential for the calculation of economic and socio-demographic indicators in the period of time between the censuses; moreover, they function as a parameter used by the Court of Accounts of the Union in the distribution of the State and Municipal Revenue Sharing Fund. This annual release is pursuant to the complementary law No 59, of December 22, 1988, and to the article 102 of the law No 8.443, of July 16, 1992.

The table presenting the population estimated in each municipality was published at the Official Gazette of the Union (D.O.U.) today, August 31, 2012. The article 102 of the law No 8.443, aforementioned, allows anyone interested a deadline of 20 days after the publication to submit legitimate complaints to IBGE, which will decide ultimately. After that, IBGE will send the final estimates to the Court of Accounts of the Union.

The results of the 2012 Population Estimates, published at D.O.U., can also be accessed at



Source: IBGE, Directorate of Survey – DPE, Department of Social Indicators - Copis

Obs1: The average rate of geometric growth for the municipalities from 10.001 up to 20.000 inhabitants is 0.000043%. It could not be directly seen in the graph because of the rounding off rates.

Obs2: The 5,565 municipalities existent in 2010 were statistically reconstituted to 2000, when there were originally 5,507 municipalities settled.


The metropolitan region (MR) of São Paulo is still the most populous one, with 19.95 million inhabitants, followed by the MR of Rio de Janeiro (11.84 million), the RM of Belo Horizonte (5.50 million), the RM of Porto Alegre (3.99 million) and the Integrated Region of Economic Development (RIDE) and Federal District surroundings (3.83 million). The 15 most populous metropolitan regions account for 72.26 million inhabitants in 2012 (37.26% of the total population).


Source: IBGE, Directorate of Survey – DPE, Department of Social Indicators - Copis


Methodology used by IBGE


As the results of the 2010 Population Census are being dealt with, compared and analyzed based on the parameters of the previous Population Censuses, it was not possible to update the Population Prospects of Brazil – Review 2008. Therefore, the population of Brazil was estimated using the Method of Demographic Components based on the initial population, by sex and age groups, of the 2000 Population Census. The 2000 mortality tables were taken as a reference and the fecundity pattern of the preliminary results of the 2010 Population Census were incorporated. The municipal population was estimated using the Growth Tendency Method, taking as a starting point the municipal populations analyzed both in 2000 and in 2010. As to the Federation Units, the populations were estimated by summing up the populations of each of their component municipalities.

The System of Population Prospects of Brazil includes information from the 2010 Population Census, from the latest sample surveys, as well as the administrative records of the year 2010. The project has its conclusion scheduled for 2013, when it will be timely used in the calculation of the municipal population with a reference date on July 1st , 2013.

The methodology can be fully accessed at:


Source: IBGE, Directorate of Survey – DPE, Department of Social Indicators - Copis


São Paulo comes as the most populous Federation Units, with 41.90 million inhabitants (21.60% of the Brazilian population), followed by Minas Gerais, with 19.85 million (10.23%), and Rio de Janeiro, with 16.23 million (8.36%). The state of Roraima is the least populous, with 469.52 thousand inhabitants (0.24%), followed by Amapá, with 698.60 thousand (0.36%), and Acre, with 758.78 thousand (0.39%).


The municipalities which together are responsible for the most significant rises in the period 2000-2012 were those with population from 100 thousand up to 500 thousand inhabitants, revealing that the population dynamics in Brazil keeps taking new routes, mainly headed to the countryside.    As to the group of municipalities with population below this pattern, there were low rates of growth in the period and a great part of them had either negative growth rates or rates edging zero.


Social Communication
August 31, 2012

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