01 December 2011

New Data on Poverty Rates (or lack thereof) in Latin America

What ‘global’ economic crisis? According to new data from the United Nations, poverty rates in Latin America have dropped sharply over the past twenty years, from 48.4% in 1990 to 31.4% in 2010. The region still has 174 million inhabitants who live in poverty, but that is well below the peak of 225 million in 2002. “Several factors help to explain the fast decline in poverty. Governments managed to stabilize their economies after the 1980s ‘lost decade’ of debt crises and inflation—a period more extreme than what Europe is suffering with its current crisis. That allowed countries to spend less on servicing debt and more on social spending. Many nations like Mexico also opened to trade, which helped to lower prices for consumers. Others, like Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil, benefited from rising commodity prices in products including oil, iron ore and soybeans. Lastly, fertility rates dropped everywhere, meaning the region has fewer babies and more working-age citizens.” 
One of the top stories on today's DAWNS Digest.

via WSJ http://on.wsj.com/w2fWVr