The Persistent Inequality in Latin America and Its Effect on Health

Dirk Jaspers, CELADE
Magda Ruiz, CELADE

This paper aims to show the main inequalities in health and mortality in Latin America. It also intends to describe those inequalities that have been persistently maintained to the point where goals established in international agreements have not been accomplished, to call attention to new challenges, and at the same time, to identify actions to be taken by countries regarding inequality reduction. Latin America and the Caribbean has been and continues to be the world’s most unequal region. Despite some progress made in the fight against inequality, it has been noticed that within countries, gaps in health care and sexual and reproductive health indicators by geographic areas, social groups, ethnic origin and level of education, among other characteristics, continue to be very wide. Persistence of such inequality hinders advancement in achieving social goals in general, and health goals in particular, causing a vicious cycle in poverty conditions.

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Presented in Session 73: What Is the Role Inequality Will Play in Demographic and Socioeconomic Indicators in Latin America's Future?