Social Panorama of Latin America 2004

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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.



Outlook for poverty reduction

Meeting the target of halving extreme poverty seems more of a challenge than predicted last year, although it does appear feasible for many individual countries in the region. The percentage progress projected up to 2004 for the region as a whole is only 34.2%, whereas just over half of the time stipulated in the Millennium Declaration has already passed. If income distribution remains relatively unchanged, per capita output would have to increase by an average of 2.9% over the next 11 years for the target to be met. It is therefore essential to adopt redistributive policies aimed at increasing social investment and extending welfare programmes that supplement productive development, so that the majority of countries can rise to the challenge of poverty reduction.


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