Social Panorama of Latin America 1999-2000

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What are the objective reasons why so many Latin Americans do not feel safe and see themselves as being defenceless? Does the Occupational stratification engendered by current patterns of development promote social mobility and the growth of the middle class? In an effort to answer these questions, this publication examines the deterioration of conditions in the labour market. It also looks at the available means of accessing social services, with emphasis on the types of public policies needed to tackle the problems of social vulnerability and poverty. It presents analysis of occupational stratification, indicates what percentages of the labour force fall into high-, middle- and low-income groups and explores how these phenomena are related to educational and household income levels. It also discusses how the level and coverage of pension systems affect income distribution in Latin America.



Goals for reducing income–poverty levels among children and adolescents by 2015

The goal of cutting income–poverty in half by 2015, which was proposed at the World Summit for Social Development, entails reducing the total number of Latin Americans living in poverty from 224 million to 137 million. Even though in the next 15 years, the percentage of those under 20 in the region's population will decline by almost seven points, meeting that goal presupposes a dramatic drop in the total number of poor children and adolescents: from 117 million to around 60 million. Given the impact of economic growth on poverty trends in various countries during the 1990s, if poverty is to be cut in half, gross domestic product (GDP) will have to rise by 5% to 6% a year. This is the level of a performance that ECLAC considers necessary to improve the population's living conditions within reasonable time periods.


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