Brazil’s population will surpass 200 million this year for the first time, and will continue rising longer than previously estimated as members of the nation’s expanding middle class live longer than their parents.

The estimate comes from a report published today by the national statistics agency that shows the population will peak at 228.4 million in 2042 — three years later than estimated in the previous study from 2008 — before stabilizing at about 218 million in 2060.

As Brazilian women enter the workforce in larger numbers, they’re waiting longer to start families and giving birth to fewer children. The country’s fertility rate has declined sharply since the 1970s, when women on average had more than four children, to 1.77 births per woman currently, below the U.S. rate of two per woman in 2009. In 2034, the rate will fall to 1.5 and stay at that level through 2060, the study found.

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