Rio’s population is growing rapidly. Since the 1950s the population of the city has trebled. Rio de Janeiro has an estimated 2016 population of 6.45 million. The metro population of Rio de Janeiro is much larger, however, with over 12 million residents in 2016.
Population graph for Rio de Janeiro
As Rio has developed it has attracted migrants from within Brazil and from abroad. One of the largest groups of migrants is Portuguese people. In fact, Rio is the largest Portuguese city outside of Portugal. Rural to urban migration has been a major cause of population growth. Migrants are pulled to the city because of better education and employment opportunities along with improved living conditions. Migrants have been pushed from rural areas due to factors such as mechanisation (use of machinery) on farms, poor living conditions and the lack of employment opportunities. More recently Rio has attracted migrants from South Korea and China who seek business opportunities.
The high rate of migration into Rio has led to a youthful population in the city. As the result of this, the city has a high rate of natural increase due to the high birth rate and relatively low death rate.