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The content on this page is extremely old. Much has changed in the world since this article was written. While many of the concepts will still be relevant, figures and case studies are likely to be outdated at this point.
Why are some areas of Brazil Densely Populated?
Rural to urban migration is resulting in very dense populations in major cities. People migrate in order to find jobs and better living standards but, as a result of the dense population, employment and services are lacking. Some rural areas are also densely populated since they provide employment in mines and in the rainforest. The existence of shanty towns are also encouraging dense populations as shanty towns allow lots of cheap low quality housing to be packed into a small area which results in lots of immigrants living in the area as the housing is cheap.
Why Are Some Areas Sparsely Populated?
The north east of Brazil is very sparsely populated due to the climate of the area. The north east suffers from frequent droughts which means many people have moved out of the area in search of better jobs and prospects as well as a more equable climate. In addition, many areas of Brazil have only recently received access to infrastructure. Western Amazona, for example, only received good infrastructure in 1960 when the Trans Amazonia highway was built. As a result, this area is relatively sparsely populated since it’s relatively undeveloped and people could have a lack of employment and services in the area.
How Might Distribution Change?
Distribution towards the west of Brazil may begin to increase in density over time, especially in Amazona thanks to improved infrastructure in the area. The construction of the Trans Amazonian Highway in 1960 has already influenced the population density in the area with a small area going from 2 - 25 people per km2 to over 25 between 1970 and 1990. The construction of the highway will make it easier for people to access the area paving the way for new serves and businesses making the area more attractive for people to live in and therefore increasing the population density in the area. In addition the Brazilian government is encouraging the development of central Brazil by promoting agricultural urbanisation and setting up a new capital city, Brasilia. The creation of a capital city will help increase the density in the area greatly since the capital will be a central economic point and therefore may have lots of business in the area making it attractive to live there for employment and so increasing the density in the area.