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Social Panorama of Latin America 2007

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Latin America has extremely high levels of social and economic inequality as well as insufficient social expenditure despite registering the highest growth in per capita GDP since the 70’s. This work provides the latest estimates for the countries of Latin America regarding poverty, residential segregation, impact of social expenditure on people’s well-being and psycho-social divides. It also analyses internal migrations as well as health programmes for indigenous people and women.

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Public social expenditure and the need for a social contract in Latin America

The level and structure of public social expenditure in Latin America continue to fall short of what is required to meet the social needs of the vulnerable population. Considerable advances in reducing indigence notwithstanding, these shortcomings have led to slow progress in alleviating non-extreme poverty and reducing inequalities in the region. On the one hand, the level of such spending is insufficient, and funds are administered under severe budgetary constraints resulting from low rates of taxation and the narrow coverage of contributory social protection programmes; on the other, the structure of expenditure has to be constantly adapted to address emerging social needs before existing ones have been met.

English

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