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Social Panorama of Latin America 2005

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The 2005 edition of the Social Panorama of Latin America analyses recent poverty trends and the increase in migrant remittances, together with their impact on the well-being of the region's population. The analysis seeks to explore the question as to whether the demographic transition taking place in the Latin American countries over the past 15 years has helped to narrow the long-standing gaps between different socio-economic groups' and areas' mortality and birth rates. Attention is also drawn to the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Caribbean countries and to the reversal of its skewed gender distribution, which has had a devastating impact on households and the community at large. Finally, this edition looks at major changes in the health sector.

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Recent trends in social spending in latin america

In recent years, social spending in Latin America and the Caribbean has continued the upward trend of the 1990s; the great majority of countries have boosted the amount of State resources allocated to social sectors. Between 1990–1991 and 2002–2003, the region's per capita social spending rose from US$ 440 to US$ 610, an improvement of almost 39%. The higher priority attached to social spending was reflected in an increase in these resources as a proportion of the countries' gross domestic product (GDP), from 12.8% to 15.1%. These advances were achieved despite cuts in public social spending in Argentina, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Uruguay during the biennium 2002–2003, which resulted from falling GDP and the sharp contraction of fiscal revenue in those countries.

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