According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) the estimated population of Brazil in 2020 is approximately 211 million people, which allows us to say that a country is populous. With a population density of 24.8 inhabitants per km², we understand that the Brazilian population is poorly distributed throughout the territory and that Brazil is a sparsely populated country.

If you found the previous paragraph confusing, stay calm!

To facilitate understanding, it is necessary to know some important demographic concepts that allow us to analyze the demographic distribution of Brazil:

Absolute population: The total number of inhabitants, that is, the entire population of a country, state or city. When the result is high, we can say that this place is populated.

Relative population or demographic density: It is the relationship between the number of inhabitants and the total area of ​​the territory, resulting in the number of inhabitants per km². To calculate the population density, it is necessary to divide the total number of inhabitants by the area. Follow the example with the data from Brazil:

Absolute population (211,755,692) ÷ Total area (8,510,295) = Demographic density (24.8 inhab/km²)

As we observe that the fact that a country is populous does not mean that it will necessarily be populated, Brazil is a good example. Although its absolute population is significant, it is possible to observe several demographic gaps, sparsely populated areas, within its territory.

Check it out at the Demographic Density map of Brazil:

Demographic Density of Brazil

The image above shows the Demographic Density of Brazil, as we can see the coastal regions and the capitals are the areas with the highest relative population indexes. As we advance into the interior of Brazil, we notice areas of demographic voids where the population concentration reaches only 1 inhab/km².

The distribution of the Brazilian population across its vast territory is uneven and can be explained by historical, natural and economic factors. The factors mentioned can be considered permissive when they create areas of attraction for the population and restrictive when they generate areas of repulsion for the population.

Mild climate, earthquake-free areas and flat terrain can be considered permissive natural factors. The economic factors, on the other hand, are linked to the offer of jobs and services, contrary to what has been exposed, they are repulsive factors.

According to IBGE data (2020), the Southeast region of Brazil has the largest population with 89 million inhabitants (94.9 inhabitants/km²), followed in sequence by the Northeast 57 million (36.5 inhabitants/km²), south 30 million (51.6 inhab/km²), north 18 mi (4.7 inhab/km²) and central-west 16 mi (10 inhab/km²).

The greater concentration of population in the Southeast region can be explained by the economic factor, as it was the first to industrialize, it became attractive to many migrants. The low demographic indexes of the northern region can be understood by the dense forest that becomes a repulsive factor for occupation, in addition to the lack of investments that make this region economically attractive.