Poverty in Chile decreased between 2006 and 2009

A report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean shows decreases in poverty rates across Latin America, with poverty in Chile in 2009 returning to pre-economic crisis levels.

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Poverty levels fell in Chile between 2006 and 2009 according to the ‘Latin American Social Outlook’ report presented in Santiago on Nov. 30 by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal).

Chile now has the third-lowest poverty rate in Latin America at 11.5 percent, behind only Uruguay (10.4 percent) and Argentina (11.3 percent). The country’s rate fell from 13.7 percent in 2006 to 11.5 percent in 2009, says the report.

Cepal also found that there has been an overall reduction in poverty in Latin America, with six of the nine countries studied showing decreases either between 2008 and 2009 or between 2006 and 2009.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of Cepal, said in Chilean newspaper La Tercera that the reduction was due to the “vigorous economic recovery seen this year in the majority of countries in the region.”

In a press release on the report, the Commission predicted that poverty in Latin America would decrease a further 1 percent in 2010 and homelessness a further 0.4 percent. It said reductions were due in part to additional public spending by the region’s governments to reduce the impact of the global economic crisis.

“Countries in the region have shown resilience in social variables that has not been seen in previous financial crises,” said Bárcena in the release.

The four countries in the report where poverty decreased between 2008 and 2009 were Brazil (from 25.8 percent to 24.9 percent), Paraguay (from 58.2 percent to 56 percent), the Dominican Republic (from 44.3 percent to 41.1 percent) and Uruguay (from 14 percent to 10.7 percent). Argentina, like Chile, saw a reduction in poverty between 2006 and 2009, dropping from 21 percent to 11.3 percent.

This post is also available in Spanish