NGOs, democracy and development in Latin America

Authored by: Inés M. Pousadela

Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138285507
eBook ISBN: 9781315268927
Adobe ISBN:


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While categorized as a middle-income region, with most of its countries and territories falling into the middle-income category, Latin America is highly heterogeneous, with countries ranging from the western hemisphere’s only low-income country, Haiti, to high-income economies such as Chile; from heavily indebted poor countries such as Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua, to rising powers like Brazil, the world’s seventh largest economy. Most of its countries, including those with the highest incomes, are also internally heterogeneous and highly unequal. Despite experiencing high economic growth over the past decade and achieving impressive declines in poverty and significant declines in inequality during the 2000s and early 2010s (roughly compensating for their deepening in the 1980s and 1990s), Latin America continues to be the most unequal – although by no means the poorest – region in the world. While poverty went down by about 30%, inequality levels (as measured by the Gini coefficient) dropped from 0.54 in 2000 to 0.5 in 2010. Even the most equal country in the region, Uruguay (0.41), would qualify as very unequal by OECD standards. 1

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