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ECLAC Publishes New Edition of Statistical Yearbook with Relevant Data on Development in the Region

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5 February 2018|Press Release

The 2017 version presents updated information for a select set of sociodemographic, economic and environmental indicators from Latin American and Caribbean countries.


Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2017.
Photo: ECLAC.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released today its Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, available online, in which it presents a statistical synthesis regarding sociodemographic, economic and environmental development in the region’s countries.

This annual publication contributes to the generation of knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean and, therefore, constitutes an essential reference material for the comparative analysis of countries with descriptive statistical data. This edition contains information that was available up to mid-December 2017.

This year’s publication maintains the changes introduced in the 2016 version regarding how the indicators are presented, prioritizing the incorporation of graphs and statistical tables that facilitate the reading of the information. Furthermore, the digital version grants online access to the primary information of the statistical series with a longer time span and broader geographical scope.

The 2017 Yearbook is organized in four chapters. The first addresses demographic and social aspects that include indicators on population, work, education, health, housing and basic services, poverty and income distribution, and gender.

According to this data, the average size of households fell from 3.9 to 3.6 people per household between 2008 and 2016. By the end of that period, the households in the first income quintile had 4.5 people on average, nearly 2 people more than the households in the quintile with the highest income (2.7). At the same time, between 2008 and 2016, unipersonal households, two-parent without children and single-parent increased their participation as a share of all households.

In the area of remunerated work, in 2016 men’s economic participation rate reached 79%, while women’s rate was just 51%. Meanwhile, the rate of urban open unemployment averaged 6.7% at a regional level, even while reaching 15.9% among people ages 15 to 24. In addition, 44% of men and 51% of women who are employed work in low-productivity sectors. With regard to the educational sphere, 1 out of every 2 people of working age (25 to 59 years of age) studied fewer than 10 years and only 22% engaged in studies after completing their secondary education.

The second chapter presents economic information, referring to national accounts, the balance of payments and foreign trade, and price indexes, among other indicators. The Yearbook shows that in 2016 the region’s average annual GDP per inhabitant at current market prices was $8,826 dollars, with similar values in Latin America and in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the current account balance marked a deficit of around $92 billion dollars (1.6% of regional GDP).

With regard to intraregional trade in 2016, intraregional exports accounted for 17% of the region’s total exports, while intraregional imports represented 15% of total imports.

The third chapter offers environmental statistics and indicators from the region. These include metrics on physical conditions; land cover; ecosystems; land; energy, hydric and biological resources; emissions; extreme natural events and disasters; and environmental regulation and governance.

The surface of protected land areas has continued rising to cover 23.4%, while the proportion of marine areas doubled between 2000 and 2014, reaching 3.1%. Between 1990 and 2015, there was an accumulated loss of 97 million hectares of forest, equivalent to nearly 4 times the size of Ecuador. The document also indicates that in 2015 regional fishing extraction fell by nearly 4.5 million tonnes versus 2011, demonstrating the decline in marine resources. Meanwhile, as of 2014 the harvest area in the region continued to rise and remained dominated by soybeans (40% of the total).   

On a separate note, the energy intensity of GDP (at 2010 constant prices) in the region declined from 0.92 kBOE (kilo barrel of oil equivalent) in 1990 to 0.81 kBOE in 2015, showing gains in efficiency. Primary, non-renewable energy supply starting in 2013 has declined by more than 100 million annual barrels of oil equivalent. Analogously, the renewable proportion increased from 2013 to 2015, reaching 26.7%, 42.1% of which corresponds to renewable energy that does not require combustion (hydroenergy, geothermal, solar and wind, among others).

Finally, the Yearbook dedicates a chapter to recording in a detailed manner the methodological aspects of the statistics presented along with the references to the data sources, both of which are included in the electronic version.

Given that most of the information comes from national statistics offices, central banks, international bodies and other official institutions, ECLAC invites users to pay attention to the sources and the technical notes that are presented in this publication. The figures are obtained using international methodologies and standards with the aim of ensuring the greatest possible comparability between countries, which means that these figures may not necessarily coincide with national data.

The document in PDF format, as well as the electronic version that provides access to tables in Excel, are available on ECLAC’s website. Further information can be found on CEPALSTAT, which includes a set of statistics and indicators that are periodically updated and cover additional areas and longer time periods than those included in this document.