Mortality by skin color/race, urbanicity, and metropolitan region in Brazil

  • Bruno Luciano Carneiro Alves de OliveiraEmail author
  • Ronir Raggio Luiz
Original Article



This study investigated the mortality rate distribution in Brazilian cities based on skin color/race and according to level of urbanicity and aggregation into metropolitan region (MR) in 2010.

Subjects and methods

The age-adjusted all-cause mortality rate (AMR) was calculated according to skin color/race (white, brown, or black). Municipalities were used as analysis units and classified into six categories: Rural within MR; Rural outside MR; ‘Rurbano’ within MR; ‘Rurbano’ outside MR; Urban within MR and Urban outside MR.


Racial inequality intensified in line with increasing urbanicity level, from rural to urban areas. However, these differences depended on how the city was aggregated to MR, thus suggesting that the mortality spatial structure was based on skin color or race in these locations. The black population presented the worst AMR risk, mainly in cities outside MR. In addition, it was found that there was an excess mortality in the black population as compared with white people.


Mortality-related racial inequalities were associated with urbanicity and MR level. They were also dependent on a complex combination of risk factors in these areas. City categorization may serve as an intervention point to reduce racial inequalities in health among populations in Brazilian cities.


Mortality Urbanicity Metropolitan area Distribution by race or ethnicity Cities 


Authors’ contributions

The authors participated in the design, analysis, and interpretation of the data, writing, and critical review of the article, as well as final approval of the version to be published.


This project was partially funded by the Foundation of Research of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Brazil [case: E-26/100.357/2013]. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the FAPERJ.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was elaborated based on aggregated databases on death that are available online. These did not include confidential information regarding personal or home identification. All work was performed in accordance with Resolution No. 466 of the National Health Council [Conselho Nacional de Saúde (CNS)] of 12 December 2012.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Luciano Carneiro Alves de Oliveira
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ronir Raggio Luiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical School CoordenationFederal University of MaranhãoPinheiroBrazil
  2. 2.Institute for Studies in Public HealthFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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