Recent poverty trends

The latest poverty and indigence figures available for Latin America show significant progress on both measures. Having remained broadly unchanged between 1997 and 2002, the proportion of people living in poverty fell from 44.0% in 2002 to 39.8% in 2005, while the proportion living in conditions of indigence dropped from 19.4% to 15.4%. As a result, the percentage of poor people has fallen below 1980 levels for the first time and the indigence rate is three percentage points below what it was that year. Between 2002 and 2005, the number of poor and indigent decreased by 12 million and 16 million, respectively, thereby breaking the rising trend that has prevailed across the region in recent decades. In 2006, the poverty rate is expected to decline by a further one percentage point approximately, and the number of people living in poverty is forecast to be around 205 million.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
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