Definition of Youth

Brazil's Youth Statute (2013) defines youth as individuals between 15-29 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • ++
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • ++

  • Civil unions/partnerships legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
The statute confirms the provision of the Constitution, that minors under 18 years of age are not criminally chargeable. Source:  Statute of the Child and Adolescent of Brazil

Majority Age


Source: Civil Code (2002)

Voting Age


Compulsory voting. 16-18 years and over 70 years voting is optional.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 98.60% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.22% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 28.70% Male (13-15) %
  • 30.80% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
In 2010, a new youth policy was adopted, and the constitution was amended to include youth.

While the national youth policy (2010) details case studies of all major youth programming, the Youth Statute (2013) details the principles and guidelines for public policies on youth, youth rights and the legal establishment of a National System of Youth and Youth Councils. According to the National Youth Secretariat (SNJ) a ten-year National Youth Plan is awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. The SNJ notes that one thematic priority is “inclusion” and specific programs have been established, such as the National Youth Inclusion Programme, which promotes “education, professional development and digital inclusion.” In 2010, the Constitution of Brazil was amended to specifically include and protect youth in "The Family, Child, Adolescent, Youth and Elderly" chapter.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The National Youth Secretariat (SNJ) has coordination responsibility for youth programming and policy. It is mandated to “formulate, coordinate, integrate and articulate public policies for youth.” The SNJ facilitates the Interministerial Committee for Youth Policy  which is the “permanent body for management and monitoring of public policies of the Federal Government for youth” and the National Youth Council. The Youth Statute (2013) mandates the National System of Youth to “formulate and coordinate the implementation of National Youth Policy.”

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The National Youth Council, according to its Official Facebook Page is mandated to

...formulate and propose guidelines for government action aimed at promoting public youth policies to develop studies and research on the socioeconomic reality of young people and promote exchanges between national and international youth organizations.

It has 60 members, with 20 government representatives and 40 from civil society. The Youth Statute (2013) allows for the creation of youth councils and the participation and representation of young people through government agencies.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
BRL 213.4 million
USD 88.9 million
The Management Audit Report 2010 details the final expenditure of BRL 213.4 million (USD 88.9 million) for the National Youth Secretariat. The Management Report for the Year 2012 details specific project spending, but no overall figure. According to the World Bank, Brazil spent 18.12% of its government expenditure and 5.82% of its GDP on education provision in 2010.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

In the Guide to Public Youth Policy (2013), the history of youth policy in Brazil is detailed:

Brazil has about 50 million young people, aged between 15 and 29 years who have shown determination to ensure your rights and occupy a prominent place in the development process of the country. Today, despite the progress that has been conquering youth, not only in Brazil but in many countries, we know that many of the more than one billion young people of the planet remain without access to basic rights such as health, education, work, and culture without speak of specific rights, which have fought an increasingly significant in recent years.

In Brazil, only recently entered juvenile demands on the public policy agenda. Gained momentum in 2005 with the implementation of the National Youth Policy (NPC), which allowed us to record in almost a decade, important advances, such as increasing the number of young people in higher education, the withdrawal of millions of them conditions of misery and poverty and the creation of mechanisms for social participation, like the Councils and National Conferences.

In the same period, the youth was inserted in the Constitution, through Amendment 65/2010, and we advance the institutionalization of NPC with the creation of specific organs and councils in the states and municipalities, as well as put on the agenda of Congress landmarks legal, with the discussion of the Statute and the National Youth Plan.

Despite these achievements Brazil still needs to give answers to not fully solved problems such as youth unemployment, which affects not only the young Brazilian, but worldwide. Combat unemployment and ensuring decent work for young people is one of the challenges the government agenda. That same tariff, included a commitment to quality education, full health, access to culture, sport and leisure, free time and the right to participation, and an item that requires further attention by the government, which is combating violence against youth, especially against young blacks, the main victims of violence in the country.

The National Youth Secretariat leverages a number of programs and actions aimed at young people. The inter-ministerial coordination and dialogue with civil society, especially with the National Youth Council (Conjuve) contributed much to get to this level. The dialogue with local management agencies contributed greatly to strengthening and advancing this agenda for the expansion of PPJ.