Margaret Scott

¿Está incompleto el crecimiento sin progreso social?

WASHINGTON, DC – La geografía de la pobreza y la privación social ha cambiado dramáticamente en las dos últimas décadas. Más del 70% de los pobres en el mundo ahora viven en países de ingresos medios. Este patrón, que probablemente continuará en la siguiente década, plantea preguntas importantes. ¿El desarrollo humano y la reducción de la pobreza han ido a la par con el crecimiento del ingreso? ¿Está incompleto el crecimiento si no hay progreso social e inclusión de géneros?

Consideremos a Asia del Sur donde la tasa de pobreza cayó del 60% en 1981 al 40% en 2005 –no lo suficientemente rápido, dado el crecimiento de la población, para disminuir el número total de pobres. De hecho, la cifra de personas pobres (definidas como las que viven con menos de 1.25 dólares per cápita al día según la paridad del poder adquisitivo de 2005) en Asia del Sur incrementó de 549 millones en 1981 a 595 millones en 2005, y de 420 millones a 455 millones en la India, donde viven casi tres cuartas partes de los pobres de la región.

En otras palabras, si bien las economías de Asia del Sur han tenido resultados en la reducción de la pobreza, el simple hecho de igualar las tendencias globales puede no ser suficiente para la región que concentra el mayor número de pobres.

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