The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released today its Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2016, accessible by Internet, which provides a statistical overview of social, economic and environmental development in the region’s countries, offering comparable data between them based on information available as of mid-2016.
This year’s edition introduces significant changes in the way the indicators are presented, prioritizing the incorporation of graphs and statistical tables that facilitate reading. In addition, the digital version offers online access to primary information from statistical series that have greater geographical and temporal coverage.
The Yearbook, which is an essential reference for comparative analysis between countries, is organized in four chapters. In the first one, it addresses demographic and social matters, which include indicators on population, labor, education, health, housing and basic services, poverty and income distribution, and gender.
According to these figures, the total population of Latin American and Caribbean countries rose to 641 million people by mid-2016 and will increase to 650 million by 2020. It is estimated that during the 2015-2020 period, the region will record an average of 21.9 deaths of children under five years of age per 1,000 live births, while in 2015 the maternal mortality rate was 67 deaths for every 100,000 live births.
In the area of employment, in the case of Latin America, the population’s economic participation rate rose to 64% in 2015. Meanwhile, the document indicates that the proportion of seats held by women in the national parliaments of Latin America and the Caribbean was 28.7%.
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 2015 the region’s average GDP per capita at current market prices was 9,886 dollars, with similar values between Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the current account balance had a negative figure of around 179 billion dollars (2.9% of regional GDP).
With regard to intraregional trade in 2015, data indicates that intraregional exports represented 17% of the region’s total exports, while intraregional imports accounted for 15% of total imports.
The third chapter offers environmental statistics and indicators for the region. They highlight metrics on physical characteristics, land cover, ecosystems, land, energy and biological resources, emissions, extreme natural events and disasters, and environmental regulation and governance.
The document shows that from 2000 to 2015, more than 50,000 hectares of forest were lost, or 5.3% of the total. In 2015, 46% of the region’s territory was covered by forest, the vast majority of it natural forest (98%). Of the nearly 2 billion hectares of land in Latin America and the Caribbean, 23.4% corresponded to protected areas in 2014.
That same year, the renewable proportion of the region’s energy supply was 24.4%, of which 29.3% corresponded to hydroenergy, 28.3% to firewood and 27.8% to sugar cane and its derivatives.
Finally, the Yearbook dedicates a chapter to detailing the methodological aspects of the statistics being presented, as well as references to the data sources, including both of these in its 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.