Twenty-nine percent of the audience were from Brazil’s wealthy elite, whilst the majority of supporters present in the stadium (61%) came from a class of second tier wealthy. 9% were from what would be termed as middle-income, which form 49% of the Brazilian population.
The poll from Datafolha, the statistics department of the Brazilian media conglomerate Grupo Folha, confirms the idea that the World Cup was unaffordable for all but a white and wealthy minority, contrasting with the country’s racially diverse and economically stratified population.
Ethnic breakdown of attendees
Among the 693 attendees interviewed in Belo Horizonte – which as a city broadly reflects the demographics of Brazil – 67% were self-reportedly white. This contrasts with Brazil’s total population, of which 41% are self-reportedly ‘Pardo’ (bi-racial). Only 24% of Brazilians of the ‘Pardo’ group attended the match.
The percentage of self-reportedly black attendees at the match (6%) also does not compare to the numbers that make up the Brazilian population (15%).
Nine out of 10 supporters were economically active: 10% were state employees, 48% received at least minimum wage, 13% are business people and among the 12% that are not economically active, 8% are students.
The poll also concluded that the supporters attending the Brazil v Chile match were highly educated: 86% said to have a degree in comparison to an average of 16% of Brazil’s total population.
Finally, the poll showed that men took the majority of the tickets, forming three out of four attendees.
FIFA highlights discount tickets
This is the first such poll conducted at a World Cup match and reveals the challenges faced by all mega-events in democratically distributing tickets to host populations.
With Brazil having spent in excess of over $10bn of public money on the tournament, critics will argue that the events are expensive and exclude all but the elite.
However, FIFA has argued that a large percentage of tickets are made available for the exclusive purchase of the home nation and many at discounted prices.
A FIFA scheme offered offer a 50% discount on the price of tickets to elderly persons (60 or over) who could claim the discount for all ticket categories. Students and Bolsa Família members (participants in the federal welfare programme) were eligible to half-price category four tickets.