The Country which Fell Asleep

Costa Rica fell asleep at the wheel, and is now the Latin American country where poverty increased the most between 2008 and 2009.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

While in most Latin American countries poverty rates fall, Costa Rica shares with Mexico and Ecuador the dubious privilege of seeing an increase.

The report "Social Panorama of Latin America 2010" by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), presented in Santiago de Chile by the agency's Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, projected a decrease in poverty of 1.0 and 0, 4 percentage points compared to 2009, when the region suffered the effects of the global financial crisis.

But in Costa Rica poverty increased from 16.4% to 18.9%, according to ECLAC data, which matches the number of the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Costa Rica.

This data is a stark warning to the ruling classes of a country which still distinguishes itself from its Central American neighbors, and even among Latin America, for the relative superiority in the quality of life of its people, supported so far by a vigorous economy based on the good education of its inhabitants in relation to the neighbors. The poverty rate is the best indicator of an economy, and an increase of 2.5% in Costa Rica, while in most countries of the region decreased, indicates the urgent need to correct structural problems.

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