The final decade of the twentieth century was a momentous one for Latin America, as it witnessed sweeping changes that represented a turning point with regard to previous trends in the region. The most important of these changes were the revival of economic growth and the reduction of poverty in the initial years of that period. Another significant phenomenon was the impact of international crises on the Latin American countries, especially in the second half of the decade. This book analyses what happened in the countries between 1990 and 1999 and revisits issues of interest to ECLAC, using the same approach that has characterized the Social Panorama of Latin America. The analysis begins with a look at a number of objective" dimensions —poverty, income distribution, employment, occupational stratification, the role of education, the intergenerational transmission of opportunities for achieving well-being and the contribution of social spending to the improvement of the population's standard of living— and at the interrelationships between these dimensions and economic growth. It also uses the findings of opinion polls carried out in many of the countries to describe the Latin American population's subjective reactions to the changes that took place in the 1990s. This interplay between objective dimensions and subjective individual responses is particularly relevant today, given the need to take all these factors into account in tackling the challenges of the social development agenda in the coming years, with a view to building a new commitment to that agenda among the citizenry and rallying support for the public policies implemented to foster growth and increase equity."