RIO DE JANEIRO Ė Brazilís middle class has grown steadily since 2003, when President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the population, the O Globo newspaper reported Sunday, citing a new report by the Getulio Vargas Foundation.
The nearly 91 million people in the South American countryís middle class represent 49.22 percent of the population and account for 46 percent of national income.
The middle class has an average income of between 1,115 and 4,807 reais ($586 and $2,530), O Globo said.
In 2003, according to the report, the middle class included 64.1 million people who represented 37.56 percent of the population and accounted for 37 percent of national income.
Despite this improvement, Brazilís poor continue to account for nearly 40 percent of the population.
Some 70 million Brazilians have incomes of less than 1,115 reais ($586) and need government assistance to survive, the Getulio Vargas Foundation said.
Some 19.4 million people, or 10.42 percent of the population, receive 44 percent of the national income in Brazil.