The Romani people in Portuguese-speaking countries such as Portugal and Brazil are known as ciganos (Portuguese pronunciation: [siˈɣɐnuʃ], [siˈgɐ̃nus]), and their presence in such area goes back to the second half of the 15th century. Early on, due to their sociocultural differences and nomadic lifestyle, the ciganos were the object of fierce discrimination and persecution. Most Brazilian and the large majority of Portuguese ciganos belong to the Iberian Kale (Kalos) group, like the Spanish Romani people, called gitanos. Portuguese Ciganos and Spanish Gitanos are the same group of people. The number of Romani people in Portugal is difficult to estimate, since it is forbidden to collect statistics about race or ethnic categories in the country. According to data from Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance there are about 40,000 to 50,000 spread all over the country. According to the Portuguese branch of Amnesty International, there are about 30,000 to 50,000.
2011's estimates for Brazilian ciganos number about 800,000, or 0.41% of the country's population; there are concerns in Brazil about lack of public policy directed at this segment of the population. It is the second largest Romani population in the world, after the United States. The first Brazilian president (1956 – 1961) of direct non-Portuguese origin was Juscelino Kubitschek, 50% Czech Roma by his mother's blood lines. His term was marked by economic prosperity and political stability, being most known by the construction of Brazil's new capital, Brasília. Nevertheless, Brazil already had a president of Portuguese Kale ancestry before Juscelino's term, Washington Luís.
See also 
- ^ (Portuguese) Joel Serrão, Ciganos, in Dicionário de História de Portugal, Lisboa, 2006.
- ^ (Portuguese) ECRI (2002), Relatório da Comissão Europeia contra o Racismo e a Intolerância - Segundo Relatório sobre Portugal, Estrasburgo, p. 23 (In Portuguese).
- ^ (Portuguese) "Comissão critica Portugal por discriminar ciganos" in Diário de Notícias, 13/02/2007
- ^ As reported by the newspaper Público on April 7, 2010 .
- ^ The Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality estimates the number of "ciganos" (gypsies) in Brazil at 800,000 (2011). The 2010 IBGE Brazilian National Census encountered gypsy camps in 291 of Brazil's 5,565 municipalities."Falta de políticas públicas para ciganos é desafio para o governo". R7. 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-22.