Indigenous Peoples, Poverty and Human Development in Latin America

Fewer poor in Latin America but indigenous people still lag others: World Bank
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Other countries in the region are exploring the possibility of using this or related methods. Why use a multidimensional poverty measure? Traditionally, measures of poverty and well-being have relied on monetary indicators such as income or Gross Domestic Product GDP. But such metrics can miss a lot.

For example, income poverty has fallen in India. It not only tells us the proportion of people who are poor, but also how many deprivations poor people suffer at the same time. The method distinguishes between a group of people who are deprived in one dimension out five, and a group of people who are deprived in five out of five dimensions. The Alkire Foster method can be used with different dimensions and indicators to create measures of poverty and wellbeing that are appropriate to different situations and societies.

For example, the Mexican Government used national survey data to create their new national poverty measure that includes education, access to healthcare, access to social security, basic services at home, access to food, income and the degree of social cohesion.

The method can also be broken down to show what the major components of poverty are among different groups of people. For example, in Mexico the national rate of extreme multidimensional poverty defined as at least three deprivations plus insufficient income is How is the Alkire Foster method calculated?

The Alkire Foster method uses an intuitive counting methodology, which is easy to calculate. It is a multi-thematic and longitudinal database which collects, with a single scientific tool, a wide range of information on socio-economic, demographic and health indicators of Mexican population [ 37 ]. It has been conducted since each five years, making it possible to determine the nutritional status of Mexican population based on national probability surveys of rural and urban strata in different regions of the country; and.

We complemented these datasets with original data on infant mortality applied in the most recent Human Development Report on Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, , and [ 40 ]. Our first step was to describe the economic profile of indigenous people at the municipality level, by combining locality level information from the Mexican Census and UNDP.

This data concerns the availability of basic housing conditions as defined previously ; percentage of illiteracy; low food poverty and the proportion of people without medical insurance. The human development index was used as an additional indicator.

Comercio y Pobreza en Latinoamérica / Trade and Poverty in Latin America

This index is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income indices used to rank municipalities into human development [ 41 ]. Secondly, an inequality analysis of ethnic condition was performed using MxFLS and NHIES with two sets of different indicators: a the change in the distribution of the household equivalent expenditure b in deciles at prices [ 42 ], and b the change in the levels of poverty between and across indigenous and non-indigenous populations by means of an estimation of two of the most important poverty indexes: the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke FGT [ 43 ], and Sen-Shorrocks-Sen SST [ 44 ].

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The FGT index is based on the estimation of a standardized gap between a poor person and a wealthy individual, which is the income shortfall expressed as a proportion of the poverty line. The SST index combines measurements of the proportion of poor people, the depth of their poverty, and the distribution of welfare among the poor. Finally, we used public results from the Mexican National Survey of Health and Nutrition and and the last Human Development Report on Indigenous Peoples in Mexico to analyze changes in two health indicators: the prevalence of stunting in children — [ 38 , 39 ] and infant mortality rates — [ 31 ].

This figure contains six graphs that show indicators of the proportion of population with access to different public services and variables that indicate the level of development at the municipality level. The vertical axes for the first three graphs show the proportion of the indigenous population living in households without durable flooring material, clean water and sanitation, and the proportion of population without health insurance respectively. The vertical axes for the following three graphs show the proportion of illiterate population, the proportion living under the food poverty line and the level of development based on the human development index.

These six indicators are correlated with the proportion of the indigenous population at the municipality level. Hence, for all six graphs the horizontal axis indicates the proportion of the indigenous population at the municipality level. Overall, those municipalities with a higher proportion of indigenous population have less availability of basic services such as durable flooring material, access to clean water and sanitation and medical insurance.

Note the negative slope of graphs 1, 2 and 3.

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Similarly, having a higher proportion of indigenous population is associated with higher prevalence of poverty and illiteracy. For both years, about 50 percent of indigenous population can be found in the first three deciles of household expenditure. Additionally, compared to , the proportion of indigenous population located in the first decile of household expenditure increased considerably in This shows that the proportion of indigenous population with less economic capacity increased between and Distribution of household expenditure by ethnic group in Mexico, [ 37 , 45 ].

Overall this figure shows that regardless of the type of poverty index estimated and the different thresholds of the poverty line, indigenous population consistently have greater poverty index values compared to non-indigenous populations. Poverty indexes by ethnic group in Mexico. Graph A. Graph B. Although the poverty levels declined for indigenous and non- indigenous groups of population in the period —, the gap between the two groups persists.

This figure shows that in general, the prevalence of stunting in children and the rate of infant mortality have declined over time; however, there are still significant differences in the trend of these health indicators when we compare indigenous and non-indigenous groups of population.

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The same trend is evident in the infant mortality indicator. Although we can see reductions in the infant mortality rate per inhabitants in both indigenous and non-indigenous groups during —, the average rate of decline was greater among non-indigenous groups Despite these important achievements in reducing infant mortality, these results reveal that indigenous people remain in an unfavorable and vulnerable position compared to their counterparts in the non-indigenous groups. Prevalence of childhood stunting and infant mortality rate in Mexican children, by ethnic group.

Indigenous groups continue having limited access to health services, quality education, and employment opportunities [ 5 , 13 , 47 ]. Together these factors lead to substantial costs in terms of social welfare, which are then inherited from one generation to another [ 48 ]. Our findings suggest that although health indicators have improved over the years among indigenous population groups; health inequalities persist between indigenous and non-indigenous population groups.

These results imply an accumulation of health disadvantages [ 26 ] that contribute to deepening structural inequality [ 11 ].

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When we compared indigenous and non-indigenous groups, we found that although improved socio-economic and health conditions have been achieved among indigenous groups of population in the last ten years, the gaps in economic, well-being and health outcomes persist.

These differences contribute to an unequal distribution of resources and opportunities, benefiting some groups of the population over others. These inequalities also limit the degree of development possible for more disadvantage population groups, reducing their ability to overcome poverty [ 3 ].

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Our analysis showed positive effects on reducing poverty when indigenous and non-indigenous population groups were compared. This reduction could be due to social programs targeting the poorest groups of the population. However, these efforts apparently have not been sufficient. Although better socio-economic and health conditions have been achieved among indigenous populations, they continue facing unequal development and living conditions.

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Many of these remotely located areas lack basic infrastructure such as roads, sewage, and electricity systems; this isolation prevents indigenous peoples from attaining higher levels of education, receiving health care and social security, accessing credit from financial institutions for self-employment, and from obtaining well-paid jobs. Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Indigenous peoples -- Economic conditions. In terms of geographical differences, the findings show that if non-indigenous peoples where to reside in the same states where indigenous peoples predominantly reside, the ethnic gap in the prevalence of informal employment would narrow. Australian National University Library. It is however likely that there is a special need for policy studies in the field of indigenous health.

Further analysis is required to define the specific strategies to reduce the gaps still present. There are some limitations to this study. The definition of indigenous peoples for the empirical analysis was adjusted according to the specific questions available in some of the surveys. Meaning, the question of self-report inquiry about self-determination of the indigenous based on language spoken could be biased.

This could obscure the actual magnitude of the differences between the indigenous and non-indigenous populations. Therefore, clearly defined indicators are needed in the future to produce more precise results. This analysis focused on specific socio-economic indicators and welfare that do not fully describe the conditions of life and the disadvantages of indigenous peoples.

Finally, the authors did not attempt to undertake a causal analysis but completed an empirical analysis focused on the description of the changes in the leading indicators over time and the comparison of the trends in these indicators among population groups. Future studies should analyze the specific characteristics and contributions of social programs that have been shown to improve the socio-economic states for indigenous population groups so findings can contribute to further reducing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous populations. Our study has shown that population groups living in impoverished conditions do not always have the same characteristics and that indigenous population groups are likely to experience much greater disadvantage than impoverished non-indigenous groups.

The Agreement signed in clearly states the need to consider specific characteristics of indigenous population groups indigenous institutions, property, work, cultures and environment better respond to their vulnerability [ 49 ]. Therefore, it is important that programs are planned and implemented that meet the specific needs and characteristics of disadvantaged population groups such as indigenous populations.

Today, some public policies in Mexico are homogenous while seeking to address heterogeneous realities. An example of this is the above mentioned case of communities that despite their great need, given their unfavorable structural poverty conditions, are not eligible to receive the Oportunidades program because their community does not have a school or rural health center.

It is crucial to refine and even redirect public interventions and efforts that for several years have approached poverty and inequality issues in Mexico through broad approaches which do not consider the specific needs of all disadvantaged sub-populations in the country. For the measurement of poverty, these scales are especially convenient because they take into account in their calculations, both the size and the composition of households rather than simply using total or per capita resources in comparisons against established poverty lines [ 51 ]. ES-M has made substantial contributions to conception and design of the article; he had a central role in the acquisition of data as well as in the analysis and interpretation of data.

ES-M gave his final approval of the version to be submitted for publication. PT-P has made substantial contributions to conception and design of the article; she had a central role in the analysis and interpretation of data. PT-P had a central role in the theoretical analysis of the data. PT-P gave her final approval of the version to be submitted for publication.

EO contributed in the analysis of the data. He contributed as well in continuous revisions of the drafted article. He contributed to the critical analysis of the argument and gave his final approval of the version to be submitted for publication. SGS-R made substantial contributions to the analysis and interpretation of data; she has been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and has given her final approval of the version to be submitted for publication.

Each author has participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Int J Equity Health. Published online Feb Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. Edson Servan-Mori: xm. Received Mar 25; Accepted Feb This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Introduction Mexico faces important problems concerning income and health inequity.

Methods We described changes in socioeconomic indicators housing condition , poverty Foster-Greer-Thorbecke and Sen-Shorrocks-Sen indexes , health indicators childhood stunting and infant mortality using diverse sources of nationally representative data. Results This analysis provides consistent evidence of disparities in the Mexican indigenous population regarding both basic and crucial developmental indicators.

Conclusions Despite a decade of efforts to promote public programs, poverty persists and is a particular burden for indigenous populations within Mexican society. Introduction It is well known worldwide that indigenous people are economically and socially deprived when compared to non-indigenous populations [ 1 ].

Data for this study was extracted from five statistical sources: i. It has been conducted since each five years, making it possible to determine the nutritional status of Mexican population based on national probability surveys of rural and urban strata in different regions of the country; and v.

Analytical strategy Our first step was to describe the economic profile of indigenous people at the municipality level, by combining locality level information from the Mexican Census and UNDP. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Figure 2.