Back in 2003, the middle class population of Latin America and the Caribbean was about 103 million. In 2009, it was an estimated 152 million, an increase of almost 50 percent. The increase is due to a successful result of the economic policy by Latin American and Caribbean governments. But the lower class has grown even larger, according to a recent report by the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, says that one third of the population is still in poverty. Although little progress was made in the region to reduce poverty and grow the middle class, more recent changes show that this impressive boost is due to economic stability and growth in the region along with more recent changes emphasizing the delivery of social programs.
Middle class within LAC are not considered rich but are economically secure – or have less than 10% chance of slipping into poverty. An earning of at least $14,000 per year, would put a family of four into the middle class. A household making less than $4 a day is considered poor, while those earning from $4 to $10 are economically vulnerable. Today, the middle class and the poor account for roughly the same share of the population – 29% and 31% in that order – while the economically vulnerable now make up the majority. A rapid growing middle class only means positivity for the economy and investors.
Written by Melissa W.