Brazil Internal and External Migration
A vast country, with an average population density which, despite the demographic increase of the last fifty years, is far below the potential of its resources, Brazil is almost exclusively a country of immigration; external emigration is limited to such narrow limits that it can be said of negligible importance. Indeed the Brazilian element that has crossed and still crosses the western border of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, heading for Argentine soil, if at times it settles permanently in the territory of the Misiones, not infrequently regains Brazilian soil, going up the course of the Paraná. For Brazil 2018, please check ethnicityology.com.
Nor do the oceanic islands located at a relatively small distance from the Brazilian east coast, such as the aforementioned islets of São Pedro and São Paulo, the islands of Trinidad and Martim Vaz, south of the 20th parallel, do not constitute Brazilian emigration areas; all currently uninhabited and sterile; colonized can only be said to be the main island of the Fernando de Noronha group, about 15 sq km wide. and a half, currently inhabited by a thousand people (of which more than half is made up of the garrison), mainly cultivated with cotton, while millet, mandioca and banana crops also give good results.
Internal emigration, on the other hand, has great importance, intimately linked to the history of the country’s colonization since Bahia was a market for black slaves and San Paolo a market for Indian slaves. During the sec. XVII the conquest of the internal region (indicated with the denomination of sertão) of Bahia and Pernambuco is carried out by the cattle breeders who advance from the coast; and the penetration into the territories of Minas, Goyaz and Matto Grosso, during the same century. XVII and the following one is carried out by the Paulists, slave hunters. In the second half of the century. XVIII, the gold diggers move from the Rio Cuyabá basin in the Matto Grosso of SW., Until they reach the latitude of Leopoldina in the Araguaya valley, on the western border of the state of Goyaz. In the first third of the century. XIX, when the gold fields can be said to be exploited, a pastoral colonization begins in the southern part of the current state of Minas, characterized by a current that tends, to the north towards the São Francisco valley, and to the south, towards the sertões of S. Paolo and Rio Grande do Sul,
Only improperly can the movement of masses of black slaves sent from the state of Bahia to Maranhão (4500 per year, on average) in the decade 1812-1821, or to the Parahyba do Norte valley, between the 1865 and 1885. Characteristic is the movement of ancient settlers in the southern states, towards the end of the last century, that of coffee farmers within the limits of the state of São Paulo, and immigration to this same state, in the immediate post-war period., from other states of the Confederation (10,000 immigrants in 1920). But the area which, in terms of internal emigration, can be said to be the most important in all of Brazil, is in the northern part of the Confederation. It is estimated that about a third of the population of the states of Pará and Amazonas is to be regarded as originally Cearense, and it is certain that the colonization of the Amazon is essentially due to the Cearensis, pushed to abandon their homes especially when a terrible drought lasted more two years (1877-1879) threatened the last ruin of that province. The Cearense migration becomes particularly intense after then, and especially when the rubber fever heats up. Then about 20,000 Ceareans migrate each year to the Amazon region. The Cearensi are now widely represented especially in the western section of the state of Amazonas, interposed between the Peruvian border and the Madeira valley; to them is essentially due, in addition to colonization.