Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Brazilian territory was occupied by important Amerindian groups: tribes of Tupí-Guaraní, settled between the coast and the southern Amazon, who first came into contact with the whites, of bororò and nambikwara, located in Mato Grosso, people belonging to the ethno-linguistic grouping of the gê, settled in the central plateau and today partly extinct, groups of caribs and toucans. These communities practiced hunting, gathering and fishing and lived in situations of nomadism or semi-nomadism. It is believed that before the arrival of the Europeans there were between 2 and 2.4 million present on the territory Indios, which dropped to 800,000 at the beginning of the 19th century. Of these tribes, almost only the Amazonians have preserved their ethnic identity, that is, the populations settled in that one large area of refuge that can be considered the Amazon forest, well protected from white penetration. This has in fact begun and has long remained attested on the Atlantic coasts, around some important port centers, which have become the basis of relations with Europe which have been decisive for the development of the country. This development found its initial justifications in the mining and forestry exploitation, then in the plantation activities that Portuguese nobles and officers, privileged by the Lusitanian kings, started in the coastal lands. Especially starting from the century. XVII the fazendas they became the components of a territorial organization which, relying on administrative centers, rapidly transformed local life and economy, with immediate consequences also on the ethnic structure. At first the Portuguese employed the Indians in exploitation works, whom they recruited as slaves in the interior of the country; but these people, accustomed to a completely different kind of life, did not adapt themselves to the heavy work imposed by the colonizers: on the other hand, contact with whites had already been extremely pernicious, due to diseases (such as flu and measles) and alcoholism. Jesuits, on the other hand the massive introduction of African slaves. It was on this basis that the particular ethnic composition of the country originated, that tríptico vital which is considered the expression of the vitality and originality of Brazil. According to dentistrymyth, the mixture between the European and the local component had characteristics of great extension and rapidity, subsequently enriching itself with the arrival of Africans, who are estimated to have come from Angola and Congo in number of 4 million. The great European immigration, hitherto monopolized by the Portuguese, for a long time the only ones authorized to occupy the colony, led from the nineteenth century. to the first decades of the twentieth century. masses of Italians, Spaniards, Germans, Scandinavians and Slavs who, unlike the first occupants, tried to preserve their European, often national, identity. The degree of ethnic mix, however, has various nuances. Simplifying, the official data speak of whites, bloodsuckers (pardos), blacks, indios do mato (Indians of the forest) or indios bravos. Mulattoes, born of whites and Africans, and mestizos, born of Indians and whites, are classified among the sanguemists, according to a process that began at the time of colonization, when the first crossings were defined as mamelucos and caboclos depending on the degree of interbreeding. Crosses between Indians and Africans (cafusos). At the beginning of the new millennium (2010) whites represented just under half of the population (47.7%), the rest made up of mulattoes (43.1%), blacks (7.6%), Asians (1, 1%), Amerindians (0.4%). Quantitatively, these different ethnic presences vary greatly from one part of the country to another. Until the sec. XIX colonization had its main centers on the Northeast coasts and it is here that the most interesting aspects of the mixture can still be observed, although prevalent are blacks and mulattoes. The majority of the white population is settled further to the S (where it has found the most suitable climatic conditions) with maximum centers in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Pôrto Alegre and in the other cities of more recent development. The first major groups of non-Portuguese immigrants were Germans; subsequently, with the promising expansion of the coffee plantations, Italians and Spaniards began to arrive (a period of strong Italian immigration occurred after 1890); the phenomenon did not stop, although it decreased due to the restrictions placed in 1934, on the contrary it experienced a new impetus coinciding with the foundation of Brasília and the colonization of inland areas. Altogether between 1850 and 1950 approx. 4.8 million people, of which 1.5 million Italians and as many Portuguese. The large migratory flows ended in the twentieth century and at the beginning of the 2000s the migratory balance was essentially in a balanced situation: in addition to the few thousand refugees from Angola, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and, in the last years, Colombia, the country would host according to some estimates about 1.5 million foreigners while 3 million would be Brazilians abroad (United States, Portugal, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium). Immigration and the incessant demographic increase have led to Brazil reaching a very high population, from about 9.9 million. in 1872 it increased to 30, 6 million in 1920, 41.2 million in 1940, 93 million in 1970, up to 163 million in 1999. The demographic projections, which listed Brazil at about 166 million residents in the first decades of 2000, were underestimated. Brazil is the most populous state in South America: a huge human mass distributed over a territory with huge resources which, however, cannot avoid conditions of heavy imbalance in the distribution of the population. During the last part of the twentieth century, the rate of demographic increase underwent considerable transformations, with the passage of average values from 33.3 ‰ in the 1975-1980 period to 10.3 ‰ a quarter of a century later, at 8, 6 of 2012. Much has been done to bring down the high infant mortality rates (which fell from 46.9 ‰ in 1990 to 24, 5 ‰ of 2005) and for the reduction of the fertility rate. The “age pyramid”, with a considerably broader base (almost half of the population under the age of 20), is typical of developing countries and such as to create social problems of great complexity, unfortunately far from being solved. The data relating to population growth must also take into account, at the dawn of the 21st century, the spread of the HIV (0.3% of adults in 2011) which necessarily affects life expectancy even if government programs to combat its advancement are considered very advanced and a model for other countries. Despite this, there is an increase in the spread of the virus among women and the black population. The latter is in fact the poorest component of the country and the subject of discrimination; only with the Lula presidency recognition of this situation and the creation of a plan in favor of Afro-Brazilians was achieved. The same government established a Commission for Indigenous Peoples in April 2007, with the aim of promoting the safeguarding of the rights and traditions of the natives. The indigenous population, estimated at between 360,000 and 500,000 units and concentrated in the Amazon River basin, in Mato Grosso, in the States of Pará, Roraima, Maranhão and in the territory of Xingu, is also subject to discrimination, with particularly violent in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. In 2004 the country ratified ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (1989, in force since 1991) aimed at recognizing the land property rights of tribal peoples and respect for their culture and traditions, and national parks, protected communities and reserves have been established. Furthermore, according to international organizations, more than 25,000 Brazilians in fact work in conditions of slavery, especially on plantations. Overall 31% of the population lives in a situation of poverty but the highest percentages concern children (50%), Afro-Brazilian minorities and the population of the states of the sertão (70%). In 2012, the population living below the poverty line was 15.9%. Afro-Brazilian minorities and the population of the states of the sertão (70%). In 2012, the population living below the poverty line was 15.9%. Afro-Brazilian minorities and the population of the states of the sertão (70%). In 2012, the population living below the poverty line was 15.9%.