Joao Pessoa


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Socio-Economic Divisions

Socio-economic divisions of the neighbourhoods of João Pessoa

brazil-slumA recent study called “Time, space and sustainability-a study of the contemporary organisation of the urban structure of João Pessoa” showed that the high earners lived in the condominiums and towers while the poorer members of the community lived on the outskirts of the city.

The central east area around Avenida Epitacio Pessoa (identified in the report as Cabo Branco, Tambau and Manaira) is recognised as the area with the highest concentration of high earners and employment (May 2008 only between 8.5% and 13.5% out of work). However in the West, on the other side of the city, earnings are much lower (often lower than the minimum salary) and unemployment runs much higher at between 20.9% and 25.6%. Further, people have to travel much further to work and spend more time travelling.

The same study revealed that life expectancy in the richer neighbourhoods was much longer, by as much as 20 years, than in the poorer western areas.

Latest figures (IBGE) show that 10% of the poorest members of the community have an average monthly income of R$37.41 while the richest earn 47 times more at R$1773.03.

In Paraíba, more than a million Paraíbans earn less than half the minimum salary, around R$207.50.

At the other end of the scale, 83,283 Paraíbans or 2.3% of the population earn in excess of 5 minimum salaries a month.

In 2000, João Pessoa had 99 groups of people living in substandard conditions within 40 of its neighbourhoods, increasing to 209 in 49 neighbourhoods. Note that these statistics include for groups of people who have squatted unfinished or abandoned buildings.

Street children

In a very recent investigation (Nov. 2008) called ‘Crianças e Adolescentes em Situação de Rua na Cidade de João Pessoa’ for the 1º Seminário para Construção do Plano de Combate ao Trabalho Infantil – 1,256 children and adolescents (upto 18 anos de idade) at 68 points in 15 áreas of the Capital, were identified as street children, living and working on the streets. The study was made by the Universidade Federal da Paraíba (UFPB), in partnership with the Prefeitura de João Pessoa (PMJP)

The study was carried out on 12,14 e 15 of Dezember 2007 of 1256 street children. Of these, 959 slept at home though 92 rarely went home, 66 slept on the streets and 45 lived on the streets. 74% worked on the streets.


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