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Demographic dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon region

Daniel Joseph Hogan, N˙cleo de Estudos de Populaša§, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, hogan@nepo.unicamp.br (Presenting)
Roberto Luiz do Carmo, N˙cleo de Estudos de Populaša§, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, roberto@nepo.unicamp.br

Recent demographic change has transformed the human face of Amazônia. In ways not expected thirty years ago, Amazonian population has evolved rapidly, now approximating patterns prevalent in the rest of Brazil. The analysis presented here seeks to place population growth, population density and population distribution in perspective, allowing a more nuanced view of the relation between population dynamics and deforestation. The rapid urbanization of the region and the concentration of population in selected locations have shifted concern from overall population growth rates to questions of the distribution of population in space. At this point in time, it is necessary to separate the impact of such major economic activities as cattle-raising, gold mining and soybean production from demographic growth. The population questions which must be asked concern the consequences for land use and land cover change of the new demographic regime. The paper first characterizes Amazônia in comparison with other Brazilian regions, briefly presenting mortality and fertility trends, showing the tendency for convergence to national patterns. The main part of the paper presents the most volatile aspects of population dynamics - migration, urbanization and changing population densities. The georeferenced data bank used, with municipal level data, refers to the biome and not the “Legal Amazon” generally used in population analysis. The Index of Human Development, part of the municipal level data base, complements the demographic analysis. Two case studies are presented to illustrate the contribution which the analysis of demographic data may make for the understanding of complex man-environment relationships: (1) a study of migration in Pará and Mato Grosso (with 1991 census data) focusing on immigration, emigration, net migration and the net migration rate; (2) a study of the corridor formed by the BR 163 highway between Cuiabá and Santarem (with 2000 census data).

Science Theme:  LC (Land Use and Land Cover Change)

Session:  1D: Rates and Patterns of Land Use Change

Presentation Type:  Oral

Abstract ID: 26

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