Classification of color/race in children from indigenous households in Brazil

posted on 21.08.2019 by Gerson Luiz Marinho, João Luiz Bastos, Luciene Aparecida Ferreira de Barros Longo, Felipe Guimarães Tavares

Abstract: Studies on racial classification systems in Brazil reveal the influence of socioeconomic factors in the expression of color/race categories, especially for whites and blacks. The aim of this study was to analyze specific family arrangements between fathers, mothers, and children, at least one of whom was indigenous. Based on the sample from the 2010 Population Census, we selected households with at least three residents (father, mother, and children), at least one of whom was indigenous. Children were characterized according to color/race (white, brown, and indigenous), sex, age, per capita household income, maternal schooling, and number of urban and rural household residents. Descriptive and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed. We estimated a total of 290.247 children (of whom 77.1% were classified as indigenous, 13.8% brown, and 9.1% white), 74.3% living in rural households and 41.3% in the North region of Brazil; children classified as white and brown were located mostly in urban areas. The odds of children of indigenous fathers or mothers being classified as white were higher in the Southeast and South. The odds of children being classified as white or brown increased proportionally with monthly income and maternal schooling. The findings show that socioeconomic status is significantly associated with color/race classification in Brazil, including in indigenous households.