Society: the challenges of evolution

The sustained economic growth over more than 25 years, along with globalization, has transformed the Chilean society, invigorated the middle class and improved the general expectations of the population.

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A society in movement. The sustained economic growth for more than 20 years, along with globalization, has transformed the Chilean society has transformed the Chilean society, invigorated the middle class and improved the general expectations of the population.

The 2013 Human Development INdex report conducted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – which measured health, education and incomes — indicated that Chile is one of the emerging countries that has increased its human development the most over the recent decades. The diverse statistics analyzed in the report show that, in general, Chileans are satisfied with their lives. The majority (55%) consider that their lives are much better today  than they were ten years ago, and the average ranking of satisfaction with their life, on a scale from 1-10, was 7.3.

Between 1980 and 2012, life expectancy increased by approximately 10 years, the average education in adults increased by 3 years, which was matched by the increase in the expected years of schooling which increased by 3.3 years. At the same time, the national per capita income increased by 175%.

However, despite the good economic indicators and the substantial reduction in the level of poverty, which went from 38.6% in 1990 to 14.4% in 2012, the country still faces a serious problem: income inequality among the population, generating a great social divide between rich and poor. In 2011, the country’s richest decile earned 27 times what the most poor received.

There is a consensus that exists among the most distinct social actors that a resolution to this problem is the principal task of the Chilean society for the coming years.

This post is also available in Spanish