What Is Considered Middle Class in Brazil?

What Is Considered Middle Class in Brazil?

There are two definitions of middle-class in Brazil: the one defined by the government and the real one. Sounds funny, but it’s true.

As a general rule, Brazilian government statistics consider as middle-class anyone in the range of income between 121 USD and 685 USD. But to live comfortably with a middle-class lifestyle in Brazil you’ll need a salary of about 1221 USD for a couple and about 1741 USD for a family of four.

If you’re able to keep this kind of income in US dollars moving to Brazil would afford you a comfortable life with a middle-class lifestyle around here.

What is Middle Class in Brazil?

What Is Considered Middle Class in Brazil?

According to the data provided by the governmental statistics about 47% of the Brazilian population is in the middle-class range of income. But this is not entirely true, because the government definition of “middle-class” is not practical. So what is considered middle class in Brazil?

As said before, there are two definitions of middle-class in Brazil: the one defined by the government and the real one. Sounds funny but it’s true.

The first one (government statistics) considers middle-class any person with a monthly income in the range between 121 USD and 685 USD, considering the current trading rates. But to live a simple yet comfortable life, what in my opinion describes well with is a middle-class lifestyle, is far from enough.

On average, the real income that you need to afford a middle-class lifestyle in Brazil is 1221 USD (as a couple) or about 1741 USD (family of four).

This number comes from extensive research that I’ve made for the blog to show How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Brazil.

This article gives a good idea of how much money you need to make to be in the range of the “real” middle-class around here because It was written considering the cost to live a comfortable life in Brazil, comparing the cost of a middle-class lifestyle in 5 different Brazilian cities.

What Are the Social Classes in Brazil?

A class system is never 100% precise but is a good tool that offers a general understanding of the social stratification of a country. In Brazil, it’s no different and there are at least 5 social classes around here.

In a country with continental dimensions and more than 200 million inhabitants, is very hard to conduct researches gather this kind of data. Thankfully, I have found a good source for this article.

The most trusted articles and charts about classes in Brazil are the ones provided by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Their studies defined 5 social classes in Brazil, with 5 different ranges of household income.

ClassNumber of Minimum Wages (MW)Income in USD ($)Income in BRL (R$)
AMore than 20 MWMore than $3870,38More than R$ 20.900,01
BFrom 10 to 20 MW$1935,19 to $3870,37R$ 10.450,01 to R$ 20.900,00
CFrom 4 to 10 MW$774,08 to $1935,18R$ 4.180,01 to R$ 10.450,00
DFrom 2 to 4 MW$387,04 to $774,07R$ 2.090,01 to R$ 4.180,00
EUp to 2 MWUp to $387,03 Up to R$ 2.090,00

Talking about the Brazilian reality, although Brazil is not a poor country, most parts of the population are still in classes D and E, with the lowest household incomes, as you can check in the table.

If we take a look at the data about the average income in Brazil, you’ll see a number in the range of the “E” class.

What Is The Average Income in Brazil?

Brazilian social classes can be categorized in a lot of different ways, but sometimes it’s hard to have a good understanding of the reality of a society only based on that.

Although, a good metric to have a better picture of the economy in a specific country is knowing the average income.

According to the data provided by Numbeo, the average income in Brazil is 342,24 USD considering the current trading rates. In “Reais”, the Brazilian currency, this number represents a salary of R$ 1848,12. Approximately 46% of the families in Brazil live with less than this value.

This value (342,24 USD) is a little bit less than the sum of the value of two minimum wages around here (2021). It’s sad, but it shows that even though Brazil is a rich country, a huge part of society is still struggling to make it every month.

What Is The Minimum Wage in Brazil?

Currently, about 46% of the population in Brazil lives with a household income up to 251 USD, just a little bit more than the value of the current minimum wage in Brazil.

The minimum wage in Brazil is currently R$ 1100 Brazilian reals per month. This represents about 203 USD at the current trading rates practiced in 2021.

Household Income in Brazil

Another great way of interpreting and visualizing social classes in Brazil is the notion of income pyramid. In the following picture, you can have a better idea of the monthly household income in Brazil in %.

Monthly Household Income in Brazil

This chart shows that a salary considered as very low in the United States (2511 USD), would put you in the 1% elite in Brazil.

Considering the current trading rate (0,18 USD for 1 BRL), you would end up making R$ 13950. An amazing salary in Brazil 🙂 With this salary, you would be making more money than 99% of the Brazilian population.

If you have a different salary and want to compare it with the Brazilian reality, just convert it to Brazilian Real (BRL) and paste it on this website. It will return you an infographic of your salary compared to the rest of the country.


I’ve enjoyed writing this article because I’m a proud middle-class worker in Brazil. Life can be hard around here, but thankfully I can’t complain. My life is simple but calm and very comfortable.

I guarantee you that with an income in the range between 2000 – 3000 USD in Brazil, you can live very comfortably in pretty much any city in the country.

That doesn’t sound as much money, and it’s not if you can keep your income in a different country, but making this kind of money in Brazil can be very hard.

I hope that this article has solved all your doubts about “What Is Considered Middle Class in Brazil” and social classes in Brazil. If not, feel free to ask me a question through the comments. I’ll love to reply and help you with more useful information.

If you want to read more incredible articles about Brazil, just click here and enjoy.

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