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More Brazilians declared themselves biracial, country’s statistics agency says

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — More Brazilians declared they are biracial than white last year, the country’s statistics agency said on Friday, citing data from its most recent census.

Agency IBGE said in a statement that about 92.1 million people — which is about 45.3% of the country’s population — consider themselves biracial. Another 88.2 million Brazilians, or 43.5% of the population, said they are white.

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In 2010, when the previous census was made in Brazil, 47.7% of the population declared as white while 43.1% identified as biracial.

IBGE said it was the first time since 1991 that these demographics appear in the South American nation, where millions of Blacks and Indigenous peoples have endured racism since their ancestors were enslaved.

Brazil’s official statistics agency describes the country’s racial demographics split into groups named as white, black, brown, yellow and Indigenous. Brown refers to biracial and yellow to Asian descendants.

The agency made its first census in 1872, when Brazilians were still being enslaved by European land owners and their descendants.

In the statement, the agency added that another 20.6 million Brazilians, or 10.2%, said they are Black while 1.7 million, or 0.8%, identify as Indigenous and more than 850,000, or 0.4%, claimed to be yellow.

Black population in Brazil rose from 7.6% in 2010, an increase of more than 42%.

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“Between 2010 and 2022, the Black, Indigenous and biracial populations increased their share in every age split, while the white and yellow populations were reduced,” the agency said.

IBGE also said biracial populations are the majority in 58.3% of Brazil’s cities, most of those in the country’s impoverished northeast region. White populations are the the majority in 41% of the cities in the South American nation, split between the wealthier southeast and south regions.

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