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.



Coverage of pension systems and participation of older adults in the labour market

In most countries of the region, over half of all older adults receive no retirement or pension and therefore need to earn income on the labour market. Moreover, from 40% to 60% of the older adult population receives no income from any of these sources, has become financially dependent and socially vulnerable and has found it necessary to live in multigenerational households. The few countries that have relatively broad pension coverage hold out greater possibilities for older adults to maintain financial independence and residential autonomy and to leave the labour market upon reaching retirement age.


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