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Social Panorama of Latin America 1999-2000

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 1999-2000

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.

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Pension benefits: Impact on income distribution and poverty

Although average income from pension benefits in most countries of Latin America remains higher than the poverty line, large numbers of older adults covered by pension systems —between 50% and 80% of the total— receive such meagre benefits that they are still highly vulnerable. Even so, this pension income is enough to mitigate and, in some countries, even substantially reduce poverty rates and inequalities in income distribution. As countries continue to expand coverage of their benefit systems, both effects will become more significant in coming decades, especially in the light of the ongoing process of ageing in the overall population.

English

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