According to a report from the World Bank, Venezuela has improved its standing on the Human Opportunity Index and is now amongst the highest ranked countries in the region in terms of availability of services such as education and housing.
The report, “Do Our Children Have a Chance? The 2010 Human Opportunity Report for Latin America and the Caribbean,” measures the availability of services needed to progress in life against factors preventing people from accessing them. The report focuses on education and housing, with education being measured by the number of students finishing the sixth grade and school attendance for children aged 10-14, while housing is measured by access to water, sanitation and electricity.
The report ranks countries on a scale from zero to 100; the closer to universal coverage in education and housing a country gets, the higher its score.
The report gave Venezuela a score of 89, meaning that 89 percent of basic services of education and housing are available and equitable distributed. The score puts Venezuela closely behind Chile (95), Uruguay (92) and Mexico (90) and tied with Costa Rica and Argentina. The six countries scored strongly ahead of the regional average of 77. Venezuela’s score improved from the 82 it received in 1995.
Over the last decade, Venezuela has aggressively moved to expand access to social services as a means to help move its citizens out of poverty. Due to innovative social programs and increases in social spending, Venezuela has jumped 10 spots on the United Nations Human Development Index since 1998.
Additionally, since 1999 extreme poverty in Venezuela has fallen from 20 percent to 8 percent and household poverty has fallen from 49 percent to 21 percent. Additionally, according to the UN’s Economic Commission on Latin America, Venezuela ranks second in the region in decreases in poverty and indigence from 2002-2008.
Data collected from the 2010 Human Opportunity Report for Latin America and the Caribbean “Do Our Children Have a Chance?/ Press and Communications Office of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S./ May 24, 2010