State Government of Rio Grande do Sul
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Population Growth

RS is the Brazilian state with the lowest geometric annual population growth rate

The geometric rates of annual population growth of Brazil and RS have shown a steady decline, mainly from 1960 on. In Brazil, in the last decade (2000-2010), it presented a growth of 1.17% p.a.. In Rio Grande do Sul, considering the data from the last Population Censuses, the annual growth rate in the period 1991-2000 was 1.21%, and in the period 2000-2010 it was 0.49%, the lowest rate among Brazilian states.

One of the major factors in the process that has been resulting in the decrease of the population of a large number of municipalities is the sharp drop in the fertility rate*. In Rio Grande do Sul, in 1998, the average was 2.1 children per woman and, at present, according to the data from the Population Census 2010, the number is 1.8 children per woman. Several factors contribute for the decrease in fertility. The urbanization process resulting from the increase in industrialization associated to factors as the increment in educational level, women's access to labor market, dissemination of contraceptive methods and improvement in health conditions, among others, were instrumental in this change.

Another factor that contributes to the reduction of the population growth is internal migration, in most cases motivated by economic factors, with shifts towards larger municipalities. Among the state municipalities, 51% presented negative population growth rates. These are mainly located in Fronteira Oeste and Norte regions of the State.

In COREDEs – Conselhos Regionais de Desenvolvimento (Regional Councils of Development) Celeiro, Médio Alto Uruguai, Missões, Fronteira Noroeste and Norte, for instance, it was found that more than 80% of the municipalities presented negative growth rates. It was also observed that in economically dynamic regional centers such as Erechim, Santa Rosa and Frederico Westphalen, the rates were positive as opposed to smaller municipalities. Whereas municipalities located in RMPA – Região Metropolitana de Porto Alegre (Porto Alegre Metropolitan Region), Serra and Litoral presented the highest growth rates in the same period, with highlight for COREDE Litoral, where several municipalities presented the highest growth rates of the State.

* Fertility is understood as the average number of children a woman would have over her reproductive period.

Annual Population Growth Rate, Brazil and RS 1950 - 2010
Graphic Annual population growth 2000 2010 BR RS

Source: IBGE

Fertility Rate, Brazil and RS 1940-2010
graph Fertility Rate Brazil RS 1940 2010

Source: IBGE

Ten municipalities of RS with the lowest population growths – 2000-2010
tab Ten municipalities of RS with the lowest population growths – 2000 2010

Source: IBGE

Ten municipalities of RS with the highest population growths – 2000-2010
tab Ten municipalities of RS with the highest population growths – 2000 2010

Source: IBGE

Socioeconomic Atlas of Rio Grande do Sul