Indigenous peoples in Brazil

The demographic census carried out in Brazil in 2010 revealed that there were 817,000 people self-identifying as indigenous, or 0.42% of the total Brazilian population. In absolute terms, the Brazilian state with the largest number of indigenous inhabitants is Amazonas, with a population of around 168,000 indigenous individuals.

In relative terms, the state with the greatest proportion of indigenous people is Roraima, where they represent 11% of the total population.  There are 305 different ethnic groups speaking 274 indigenous languages. It is estimated that there are 46 peoples living in voluntary isolation.

Indigenous lands

Brazil covers an area of 851,196,500 hectares. The Indigenous Lands (Tierras Indígenas or TIs) represent 654 areas with a total land mass of 115,499,953 hectares – 13.56% of the national territory. Most of the TIs are concentrated in the Legal Amazon: 417 areas totalling around 113,822,141 hectares. The remaining 1.39% is divided between the north-east, south-east, south and centre-west.

International conventions and declarations

Brazil ratified the ILO Convention 169 in 2002 and signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.

Yearly update

Read the 2012 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Brazil to learn about major developments and events during 2011 (internal link)