Section I. Religious Demography
The U.S. government estimates the total population at 208.8 million (July 2018 estimate). According to a 2016 Datafolha survey, 50 percent of the population identified as Catholic, compared with 60 percent in 2014. During the same period, the proportion of atheists increased from 6 percent to 14 percent, and the proportion of evangelical Protestants increased from 24 percent to 31 percent. According to the 2010 census, 65 percent of the population is Catholic and 22 percent is Protestant. Adherents of other Christian groups, including Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as followers of non-Christian religions, including Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and African and syncretic religious groups such as Candomble and Umbanda, comprise a combined 5 percent of the population. Some Christians also practice Candomble and Umbanda. Those identifying with no religion comprise 8 percent of the population.
According to the 2010 census, approximately 35,200 Muslims live in the country, while the Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil states the number at approximately 1.5 million. Some observers say the discrepancy in numbers may be because the 1.5 million figure may include the entire Arab-Brazilian population, all of whom the federation may assume are Muslim, but many of whom are Christian or adhere to other faiths. Religious scholars estimate the actual number of Muslims to be between 400,000 and 500,000. There are significant numbers of Muslims in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, and Foz do Iguazu, as well as in smaller cities in the states of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul.
According to the Jewish Confederation of Brazil, there are approximately 125,000 Jews, 65,000 of whom reside in Sao Paulo State and 25,000 in Rio de Janeiro State. Many other cities have smaller Jewish communities.