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ECLAC’s New Edition of Statistical Yearbook Compiles Relevant Data on the Region’s Situation

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8 February 2016|Press Release

The 2015 edition updates a selected group of indicators of Latin America and the Caribbean countries.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released today the Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2015, available on the Internet, which gives a statistical overview of the social, economic and environmental development processes in the region’s countries.

This annual publication contributes to generating knowledge on Latin America and the Caribbean and, therefore, it is an essential reference report for the comparative analysis of countries with descriptive statistical data. This edition contains information that was available until mid-December 2015.

The Yearbook is organized in four chapters. The first one addresses demographic and social topics, which include population, employment, education, health, housing and basic services, poverty and income distribution and gender indicators.

According to this data, estimates show that by mid-2015 Latin America and the Caribbean population rose to 634 million people, of whom around 80% lived in cities and 50% were between 15 and 49 years old. In the labor area in 2014, as an average for 18 Latin American countries, the greatest part of the employed population were dedicated to the commercial sector and other services (48.2%), agriculture (18.5%) and manufacture (11.9%).

On the other hand, the Statistical Yearbook indicates that 94.6% of Latin American inhabitants used improved sources of drinking water provision and 83.1% had better sanitary facilities in 2015, although in rural areas these percentages drop to 83% and 64%, respectively.

The second chapter offers economic statistics, providing data on national accounts, balance of payments, international trade and price indexes, among others. The Yearbook shows that in 2014 the region’s growth closed at 1.2%, the current account balance registered a deficit of almost 180 billion dollars (2.7% of the regional GDP), while the average rate of regional annual inflation increased to 7.8%, 1.2 percentage point higher than in 2013.

The third chapter presents statistics related to the environment, its land cover, ecosystems and biodiversity; energy, water and biologic resources; use of land; air emissions; extreme events and natural disasters; regulation; and environmental management.

Of the 2 billion estimated hectares in Latin America and the Caribbean, 20% are protected areas and 46% of the total extension is forest, of which the greatest part is natural forest (98%). The document also shows that in 2013 the regional fishing production rose to around 13 billion tons, while soybean was the crop with the greatest cultivated area (49% of the total), followed by wheat and sugar cane.

Finally, the Yearbook dedicates a chapter to addressing the methodological aspects of the statistics presented, as well as references to the data sources.

Given that most of the information comes directly from national statistic offices, central banks, international organizations and other official institutions, ECLAC invites users to pay attention to the sources and technical notes presented in this document. The data is obtained from international methodologies and standards with the aim of guaranteeing the comparability between countries. Therefore, these figures may not necessarily coincide with national data.

The complete text in PDF format and the Excel tables of the Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2015 are available on ECLAC’s Web site. More statistical information about Latin America and the Caribbean can be found on the CEPALSTAT Web site, which includes a set of thematic databases and indicators that are updated periodically and cover additional areas and a greater temporary coverage than those included in this document.