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Social rifts in Colombia

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Author: Londoño de la Cuesta, Juan Luis UN symbol.: LC/G.1955-P p. 19-40 April 1997

Description

This article analyses the levels and evolution of social inequalities in Colombia over the last 25 years, describing the main recent trends in Colombian social development, comparing them with past periods, and contrasting them with those of other countries. First of all, a recent estimate of income distribution and the rest of the social indicators is given. Next, trends in the distribution of monetary income over the period 1938-1993 are analysed, the impact of social expenditure on secondary income distribution is examined, and on this basis trends in the distribution of income effectively received by individuals are evaluated. The evolution of poverty and other indicators of well-being is then described and compared. Finally, some reflections are presented on social prospects in Colombia. It is concluded that while the country has undergone enormous changes in distribution and well-being which have gradually reduced inequality and poverty, there has been a shift in the dominant social problems of the country, since shortcomings and inequalities in the field of education and the deterioration in young people's life expectancy have begun to play a leading role.