The Brazilian government said Monday that its social programs have succeeded in lifting 881,000 citizens from below the poverty threshold in the 2005-2006 period.
Living under the poverty threshold means one's monthly per capita income is less than 175 reais (100 U.S. dollars).
Based on data provided by the National Household Sample Survey, of the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute (IBGE), the Ministry of Social Security stated that the government's social protection system prevented 21.9 million Brazilians from falling below the poverty threshold in 2006, which represents 12 percent of the country's entire population.
According to the ministry, the amount of people living below the threshold would have increased from the current 57.8 million to 79.7 million, if not for the "protection system."
A total of 51.9 million Brazilians lived on welfare in 2006, which represents 64.1 percent of the country's employed workforce, with ages ranging from 16 to 59.
Minister of Social Security Luiz Marinho said that the figure has been rising since 2002, when welfare reached 61.7 percent of that part of the population.
Marinho attributed the overall result to Brazil's economic growth and to the increase in formal employment, which allows workers to have more access to social programs.
The government also stated that Brazil's social security assists 80.7 percent of its elderly population, which means 15.4 million people. According to the ministry, only Brazil and Uruguay assist over 80 percent of their elderly citizens in Latin America, where assistance reaches an average of 50 percent of them.