Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Some numbers on Venezuela 

Today the newspaper Ultimas Noticias had articles that gave some rather interesting statistics.

The first is that 70% of people below the poverty line in Venezuela are women - or as the paper put it, poverty is feminized. This shows the effects of historic discrimination, a large number of families headed by women, and the need for Venezuelas anti-poverty programs to specifically target women. Fortunately as we saw recently with the Social Security payments to homemakers the government is doing just that.

Maternal mortality was 66 per 100,000 births in 2002 and it was reduced to 54.7 in 2004. Of course, it will be interesting to look up what it was in, say, 1998 before Chavez came to power. I'll try to find that.

In 1998 only 25% of the population has access to pre-natal medical care. In 2005 that increased to 70% thanks to the Barrio Adentro program. Thats a great accomplishment although its amazing that 30% still don't have it.

In 2005 the Barrio Adentro program provided care to 17 million people (Venezuela's population is 25 million).

Then the Datos polling firm gave some economic statistics.

Venezuelans are now buying 16% more consumer products than in 1998. In other words as measured by consumption peoples standard of living is clearly higher under Chavez.

The total monthly income accruing to strata "E" (the poorest 58% of the population) increased from 286 billion Bolivares in 2003 to $576 billion in 2005. It didn't say so I assume those numbers are NOT indexed for inflation. That means instead of class "E" peoples income doubling during that time period, when inflation is taken into account it probably increased by about 60%. A very, very impressive accomplishment and a nice follow on to what we already knew about the rising income of the poor in Venezuela.


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