Growth and development

Chile leads Latin America in social mobility

The new World Bank study on the rise of the Latin American middle class highlights the Andean nation’s economic strengths. 

Monday, January 07, 2013  
Chile is Latin America’s leader in social mobility. Photo by Daniël Silveira. Chile is Latin America’s leader in social mobility. Photo by Daniël Silveira.


A new World Bank study has released more fascinating information about the health of Chile’s economy. In addition to ranking Chile the best place to do business in Latin America, the international finance institution has now published a report highlighting the country’s exceptional economic mobility ranking, among other interesting data.


The report, titled Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class, explores a few interesting facts about Chile. The Andean nation leads Latin America in social mobility, with 60 percent of the population increasing their economic situation between 1992 and 2009, and 40 percent maintaining it within that same period. Costa Rica, Brazil, and Colombia also have high levels of social mobility, according to the study.


Jamele Rigolini, a Senior Economist at the World Bank, told The Santiago Times that Chile’s middle class is now stronger than in other countries in the region. According to the study, about 42 percent of Chile’s population is part of the middle class, which the World Bank considers to be workers who earn between US$10 and $50 a day.


“Chile is one of the countries with the strongest middle classes in Latin America,” Rigolini said. “It is already a middle class society, or really close to becoming one.”


The study also found that the middle class across the Latin American region is expanding.

Latin America’s middle class has expanded from including 100 million people in the year 2000, to 150 million people at the end of the last decade.


“This amazing growth of the middle class, not just in Latin America but all over the world, reflects a structural change,” Rigolini said. “The rise of the middle class is happening all over.”


You can learn more on the complete results of the study by checking out the full paper here.

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