Indigenous peoples in Brazil

There are 227 distinct indigenous peoples in Brazil. Half of these comprise less than 500 individuals in all. Only four indigenous peoples have a population of more than 20,000.

The indigenous population of Brazil numbers some 734,127 people, or 0.4% of the national population; of these, 383,298 live in urban areas, while it is estimated that there are 46 peoples living in voluntary isolation.

Indigenous lands

Brazil covers an area of 851,195,500 hectares. 654 so-called 'Indigenous Lands', Tierras Indígenas, account for 115,499,953 hectares of this; in other words, 13.56% of the national territory is set aside for indigenous peoples.

Most of the Indigenous Lands are found in the region of the Amazon: 417 'Indigenous Lands' totalling approximately 113,822,141 hectares. The remaining 1.39% is divided between the north-east, south-east, south and centre-west of the country.

There are still 323 de facto indigenous lands, which have no legal status.

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)

Download the 2011 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Brazil to read more about major developments and events during 2010