01.02.03. Prevalence or burden of injury and violence | Brazil

01.02.03. Prevalence or burden of injury and violence | Brazil

30 Mar 2022

According to a map of violence produced by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and the Brazilian Forum of Public Security (FBSP), the homicide rate in Brazil was 30 times higher than that in Europe in 2016 (62,517 murders). Considering only the last decade, 553,000 Brazilians lost their lives through violent death (153 deaths per day). Such deaths represent almost 10% of all deaths in the country and affect mainly young men: 56.5% of the deaths of Brazilians aged between 15 and 19 are from violent deaths. Young victims represent 53.7% of the total number of deaths in the country (that is, 33,590 deaths), 94.6% of whom are males. The number of violent deaths also reflects great racial inequality: 71.5% of the people murdered are black or mixed race (Institute for Applied Economic Research, 2018).

Despite the alarming numbers at the national level, the disparity between the Federation Units draws attention. There was a reduction of homicide rates in the last decade in states such as São Paulo (-46.7%), Espírito Santo (-37.2%) and Rio de Janeiro (-23.4%), and a growth in others, such as Rio Grande do Norte (256.9%), Acre (93.2%), Rio Grande do Sul (58.8%) and Maranhão (121.0%). By 2016, the homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants had reached almost 45 in the states of the Northeast and the North. In the Southeast, on the other hand, the value was in the 20’s, slightly below the 25 reached by the Southern states (Institute for Applied Economic Research, 2018).

Most homicides in Brazil are caused by fire guns: from 1980 to 2016, almost one million Brazilians lost their lives because of fire guns. A total of 71.1% of homicides was committed with the use of fire guns (a rate that grew for decades until 2003, the year of the creation of the disarmament statute) (Institute for Applied Economic Research, 2018). Currently the Brazilian new government is starting to allow more sectors of the population to have a fire gun.


Institute for Applied Economic Research. (2018). Atlas da violência.