Fortunately, both poverty and extreme poverty have shown a significant decrease in Brazil. According to data from the National Household Sample Survey (Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios—PNAD), poverty dropped over 20 per cent between 2004 and 2013, to about 9 per cent of the Brazilian population. Extreme poverty fell from about 7 per cent to 4 per cent over the same period. Much of this decline was due to the expansion of the labour market and the significant increase in transfers to poor households, through both social security and the Bolsa Família programme (Rocha 2013).
Unfortunately, this progress has stagnated. Between 2012 and 2013, extreme poverty increased slightly, and poverty remained stable (ECLAC 2014; Mosque et al. 2015.). The labour market is deteriorating rapidly, and the fiscal situation has gone from being relatively favourable to a source of great concern. This means that the two main driving forces behind poverty reduction—the labour market and transfers to poor households— are unable to maintain the same pace as in the past decade. While poverty has decreased, many of its aspects remain the same. Geographically, little has changed. The North and Northeast remain the poorest regions of Brazil, and, within any given region, rural areas are also the poorest (Barros et al. 2006; IFAD 2011; Rocha 2013). This study will discuss poverty and extreme poverty, as well as how they relate to these variables.