Latin America poverty levels lowest in 3 decades

November 27, 2012

SANTIAGO, Chile – Poverty in Latin America decreased more slowly in 2012, with one million fewer Latin Americans living in poverty than in 2011, according to a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA).

Poverty affects some 167 million Latin Americans, mostly women and children, or some 28.8 percent of all residents in the region, ECLA said.

“Current poverty figures are the lowest we’ve seen in the past three decades, which is good news for the region. But we still face unacceptable [poverty] levels in many countries,” ECLA Secretary General Alicia Bárcena said.

While the numbers are encouraging, according to ECLA, the slowing pace of poverty reduction is cause for concern.

The year 2011 saw a reduction of 1.6 percent over 2010 in the number of Latin Americans affected by poverty, while the percentage of decrease this year over last was just 0.6 percent. Meanwhile, the number of people living in extreme poverty remained unchanged, totaling some 66 million people, the same as in 2011.

“As in years past, the increase in wage income in poor homes was the most significant factor in poverty reduction,” the report said.

Also mentioned was the “feminization of poverty,” which the report attributes to gender-based discrimination and segregation, lower salaries and fewer job opportunities in the formal labor sector, Bárcena said.

Poverty also affects more than half of minors under 17, which is primarily linked to teen pregnancy “mostly in poor households,” Bárcena added.

Paraguay, with 49.6 percent of its population living in poverty, is the most striking example. Next are the Dominican Republic (42.2 percent), Colombia (34.2 percent), Ecuador (32.4 percent) and Venezuela (29.5 percent).

Paraguay also tops the list of countries whose residents live in extreme poverty (28 percent), followed again by the Dominican Republic (20.3 percent), Panama (12.4 percent), Venezuela (11.7 percent) and Colombia (10.7 percent).

Argentina is the Latin American country with the lowest poverty level (5.7 percent), followed by Uruguay (6.7 percent) and Chile (11 percent).

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)
Pic of the Day
78 views
Pic of the Day
78 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019

Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety
Costa Rica
12 views
Costa Rica
12 views

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety

AFP and The Tico Times - April 18, 2019

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it places responsibility with the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro for…

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat
Latin America
28 views
Latin America
28 views

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat

AFP and The Tico Times - April 17, 2019

Venezuela withdrew the diplomatic credential from the Costa Rican chargé d'affaires on Tuesday in retaliation for the country’s acceptance of…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!