What the latest census says about housing in Brazil

What the latest census says about housing in Brazil

The Brazilian Institute of Statistics has just released the results of the latest census. It reveals a considerable rise in the size of the population and households, increases that also say plenty about housing in Brazil. Supply of property still lags far behind household demand across the country, including Ceará, whose capital, Fortaleza, is now the fourth largest city in Brazil.

Rise in population

According to the Brazilian Institute of Statistics (IBGE), Brazil now has over 203 million inhabitants. This figure is 6.5% since the last census in 2010.

The growth was uniform across the country, although some states saw slightly lower increases. This was the case in Ceará, whose population has increased 4% since 2010 and now stands at 8.8 million.

However, the increase in its capital was higher. As a result, Fortaleza has surpassed Salvador in number of inhabitants and now ranks as the fourth-largest city in the country.

Some parts of Ceará showed considerably higher growth. For example, the district of Trairi in the northeast of the state grew by 13.6% between 2010 and 2022, indicating a surge in its popularity. Its population now stands at 58,415.

Household growth

The latest census also measured the number of households in Brazil, and this figure reveals a significant uptick. In the last 12 years, they have increased by 34.21%, rising from 67.5 million to 90.7 million.

Analysts attribute the faster household growth than population to smaller family units and property investment. In 2010, for example, each household had an average of 3.3 people. In 2022, the figure stood at 2.8, 18.7% less.

“People are living longer,” explained Renato Cymbalista, from the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Sao Paulo University. “More people live alone, and more young people are leaving home.”

Housing in Brazil

The census also investigated the number of empty homes in the country. It found that around 20% of registered properties were unoccupied at the time of the survey. 12.6% of these are privately owned and were available for sale or rent or awaiting demolition. This percentage translates to over 11 million households.

In addition, a relatively high proportion of empty homes are permanently unoccupied. The census found that 7.4% of all properties were classed as empty on a long-term basis, 70% more than 12 years ago.

Sao Paulo illustrates this phenomenon. For example, the census showed that the city had 588,978 empty homes, 12 times the homeless population in the financial capital.

Holiday homes

The latest findings also revealed that the number of second homes in Brazil has grown since 2010. According to the census, around 6.6 million properties formed part of the “occasional use” or holiday home category.

(Source: IBGE)