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Until 1934, foreigners were admitted to Brazil. From that date, it was established that only 2% of each nationality of foreigners who had migrated between 1884 and 1934 could immigrate.
The factors that most favored the entry of immigrants to Brazil were:
- The difficulty of finding slaves after the extinction of the trade after 1850;
- The coffee cycle, which required numerous labor;
- Plenty of land.
For most immigrants, adaptation was very difficult, because apart from climatic differences, language and customs, there was no firm policy in the country that would guarantee the people who came here. The southern and southeastern regions were the ones that received the largest contingent of immigrants, mainly because of the coffee and settlement cycle of the southern region.
Immigration in Brazil by nationality
Italian immigrants in the region of Caxias do Sul (RS) in 1911
In our history, the main migratory movements were:
- Northeastern migration from Zona da Mata to the backlands, 16th and 17th centuries (cattle);
- Migration of northeastern and paulistas to Minas Gerais, 17th century (gold);
- Migration of miners to São Paulo, 19th century (coffee);
- Northeastern migration to the Amazon due to the rubber cycle;
- Northeastern migration to Goiás, in the 1950s (construction of Brasília);
- Migration from São Paulo to Rondônia and Mato Grosso, in the 1970s.
The most intense migratory movements in the 1980s and 1990s were in the regions:
- Midwest: Brasilia and surroundings; areas of the interior of MT, MS and GO, where there is the expansion of livestock and commercial agriculture.
- North: zones of mineral extraction in RO, AP and PA; logging zones in PA and AM; agricultural areas in RO and AC.
- Southeast: migrations of the capitals to the interior of the states of SP, RJ and MG.
- South: Until the late 1980s, migratory movements to the Midwest and North were very significant. In the 1990s, there was strong intra-state migration, especially from the metropolises to the interior.
- Northeast: Traditionally, the northeast was an area of population evasion, mainly from the backcountry to Zona da Mata or other regions of the country, such as southeast and midwest. Currently, there is an attraction due to state tax incentives for outside companies, cheap labor and tourism.