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Brazil, People and Society

Brazilís population is a mixture of Native American, European, and African peoples. These groups have intermingled over the years to create a society with considerable ethnic complexity. The Native American population has been in Brazil the longest, but is now the smallest group. The Portuguese began arriving in 1500, and other European groups came after 1850. The ancestors of African Brazilians arrived as slaves, beginning about the mid-1500s and ending in 1850 when the slave trade was abolished.

Brazilís population growth was generally high during the 20th century, but it began to slow during the 1980s. Until recently the population was predominantly rural and agricultural. The past 40 years have brought rapid urbanization, due to population growth and the migration of people from rural areas seeking employment in the expanding industries of the cities.

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