Projections indicate a total population of 169 million in 2000. According to the 1996 count, the most populous region in the country is still the Southeast (63 million inhabitants), followed by the Northeast (45 million), the South (23.1 million), the North (11.1 million), and the Center-West (10.2 million). The most inhabited states are Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul, and Paraná. These states all lie along the Atlantic coast.Sao Paulo state (1996 pop. 34,055,715), 95,713 sq mi (247,897 sq km), SE Brazil. It is Brazil's most populous and economically important state. The capital is the city of Sao Paulo, (1996 pop. 9,816,776) Sao Paulo, which dominates the vast hinterland of one of Brazil's wealthiest agricultural states, is Brazil's commercial, financial, and industrial center. Through its Atlantic Ocean port of Santos
The 1996 count showed that there were ninety-seven men for every 100 women and that the total number of women exceeded the number of men by 5 million.
In the 1990-92 period, the economy deteriorated further, with a 1.3 percent annual decline in GDP and 4.1 percent decline in industrial output. Agriculture grew only 1.5 percent, and the services sector, only 0.4 percent annually. The overall unemployment rate increased from 3.4 percent in 1989 to 4.3 percent in 1990, 4.2 percent in 1991, and 5.8 percent in 1992. The labor absorption by the informal sector continued to be large and highly visible.
As for the disparity in the wage scale, according to the 1990 household survey, in September of that year 10.8 percent of the employed work force, or 6.5 million persons, earned one-half of a minimum wage, a monthly average of US$299; 49.2 percent of the employed work force, or 29.8 million persons, received two minimum wages or less. At the other extreme, 7.8 percent of the employed work force received more than ten minimum wages, a monthly average of US$1,941; 3…