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Social Panorama of Latin America 2004

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 2004

The 2004 edition of the Social Panorama of Latin America analyses the major demographic changes that have occurred in the region over the past few decades, examines the socioeconomic status of Latin American youth, looks at institutional and programmatic guidelines for youth policies and describes how household structures and family roles have changed. As in past years, recent trends in poverty and income distribution in the Latin American countries are also reviewed.

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Trends and changes in fertility rates

The drop in fertility levels over the past 30 years is one of the most significant demographic developments in the region and has followed a path that is relatively independent of economic and social cycles. At present, fertility varies from rates lower than replacement level in Cuba and other island states of the Caribbean to move than 4 children per woman in Guatemala and Haiti. These differences are explained by less widespread use of modern contraceptives and a higher unmet need for family planning in the latter countries, which provides some pointers for the policy–making process.

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