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.



Achievements, deficiencies and inequalities in educational achievement among children and adolescents

Despite the progress made by the Latin American countries in the 1990s in improving access to and completion of primary education and coverage of secondary education, some significant shortcomings remain in regard to the acquisition of educational capital. The deficiencies are greater in the more advanced levels of primary education, as evidenced in the high percentage of children who do not complete the first four grades or fall behind in doing so, and in the even greater proportion of children who do not finish primary education. On average, it is estimated that in 2000, one of every six children in urban areas will have dropped out of or fallen behind in primary school, and in rural areas, the figure is 40%. As regards secondary education (which is now the minimum level required to find a decent job), the shortcomings are even more serious: only half of all 20–year–olds in urban areas and one fourth in rural areas will finish high school.


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