Human development of Rio de Janeiro

Human development of Rio de Janeiro
The human development of Rio varies greatly by locality, reflecting the spatial segregation and socioeconomic inequalities in the city.
In 2000, there were several Rio neighborhoods with Human Development Index scores higher than the most developed countries in the world.

Social issues

There are significant disparities between the rich and the poor in Rio de Janeiro. Although the city clearly ranks among the world's major metropolises, one fifth of its inhabitants live in neighbourhoods known as favelas (slums), where housing is not regulated. In the favelas, 15% of the population are poor, compared to 10% in the general population.  There have been a number of government initiatives to counter this problem, from the removal of the population from favelas to housing projects such as Cidade de Deus to the more recent approach of improving conditions in the favelas, bringing them up to par with the rest of the city, as was the focus of the "Favela Bairro" program.


Rio has high crime rates, especially homicide, in São Cristóvão/Mangueira, Grande Tijuca and Copacabana/Leme. In 2006, 2,273 people were murdered in the city giving it a murder rate of 37.7 cases for every 100,000 people. According to federal government research, the municipality itself ranks 206th (out of a total of 5,565) in the list of the most violent cities and municipalities in Brazil. Between 1978 and 2000, 49,900 people were killed in Rio. The urban warfare involves drug-traffic battle with police fighting against outlaws, or even corrupt policemen on their side. In 2007, the police allegedly killed 1,330 people in the state of Rio Janeiro, an increase of 25 percent over 2006 when 1,063 people were killed. As a comparison, police throughout the United States killed 347 people during 2006.

The Rio de Janeiro state government under Sérgio Cabral Filho launched in 2008 the Pacifying Police Unit (PPU) program to reclaim areas controlled by drug dealers. The program is considered successful.  This is the latest in a line of policies regarding the crime issue in the favelas, such as the Special Areas Policing Groups (GPAE) and the Community Policing program, in the Garotinho administration, or the no-entry policy adopted by Leonel Brizola for the police in those areas. Through the UPP, between 2009 and 2010 the rate of homicides in the state fell by 21%, the largest drop since 1991.

More recently, with the planned hosting of both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the crime-fighting activity has increased. Starting on November 25, 2010, a combined force of police (both military and civil) and later armed forces, escalated the confrontation with gangs in an attempt to regain control of the city's various shanty towns in response to four days of violence. Authorities have made some inroads, and currently control the Complexo do Alemão among other areas.