Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Uruguay

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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — While some progress can be made in decreasing the youth unemployment rate and improving access to housing assistance programs, there has been much progress in helping to ameliorate living conditions in Uruguay. The employment rate and GDP have increased and significant strides have been made in reducing poverty and extreme poverty. In addition, Uruguay has a very high literacy rate and there has been an increase in enrollment rates in early childhood, pre-primary and secondary education. With more strides being made, more positive developments can be made in bolstering employment, poverty reduction efforts, housing, GDP, health care and education. In the article below, top 10 facts about living conditions in Uruguay are presented.

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Uruguay

  1. Some progress has been made in increasing the employment rate and improving living conditions in Uruguay. The employment rate increased from 56.41 percent in September to 58.58 percent in November. From 2006 to 2018, the average employment rate in Uruguay was 58.33 percent. The highest employment rate in the country was 61.11 percent in February 2014 and the lowest employment rate was 52.62 percent, recorded in February 2006.
  2. One issue the country is facing is the high unemployment rate of the youth population. There are substantially larger unemployment rates for youths than for adults as 17.8 percent of the youth aged from 15 to 29 do not work nor are in school. One crucial political development was the National Dialogue for Employment that argues that youth and women must be the primary focus of the education system.
  3. Uruguay has made significant strides in increasing its GDP, which has helped ameliorate living conditions in the country. Uruguay’s GDP increased from $19.58 billion in 2006 to $40.28 billion in 2010. Furthermore, from 2011 to 2017, the country’s GDP rose from $47.96 billion to $56.16 billion.
  4. There have been many positive developments in reducing poverty and extreme poverty in the country. Poverty has decreased from 32.5 percent in 2006 to 9.4 percent in 2016. In addition, extreme poverty is almost non-existent as it decreased from 2.5 percent to 0.2 percent in the same period. For the 40 percent of most impoverished people in Uruguay, the income levels increased at a much quicker pace than the average growth rate of income levels for the entire population.
  5. In 2008, 181,000 people got out of poverty, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE) study. Of the Uruguayans who were living below the national poverty line, one out of five of Uruguayans got out of poverty.
  6. More work still needs to be done in helping people living in rural parts of Uruguay in accessing housing assistance programs. The part of the government responsible for carrying out and putting into action housing policies and programs is the Uruguayan Ministry of Housing, Regional Planning and Environment. Public housing assistance programs are not getting to people in rural parts of Uruguay as 19 percent of people in urban parts of the country utilize public housing programs and 5 percent of people in rural parts of Uruguay utilize public housing programs.
  7. There is a baseline of health care given to all the citizens in Uruguay. In 2014, Uruguay spent 8.6 percent of its GDP on health. The country is 65th in the world for health rankings made by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  8. The total number of hospitals in Uruguay is 105 and out of this number, 56 hospitals are public, 48 are private, and one is a university hospital. The Ministry of Public Health oversees the public system. The name of the public health care system is the State Health Services Administration (ASSE) and it is available to all legal residents. In addition, there are no monthly premiums for low-income residents.
  9. Uruguay has made significant progress in improving its literacy rate. Uruguay has a high literacy rate that can be compared to those of developed countries. Education is compulsory for children aged from 6 to 11 and free at all educational levels. The literacy rate in the country is at 96 percent.
  10. In large part, enrollment rates have gone up in Uruguay, showing that strides have been made in improving living conditions in Uruguay. From 2002 to 2013, the number of children enrolled in early childhood and pre-primary education increased from 148,000 to 175,000 children. The number of students enrolled in primary school from 2002 to 2013 decreased from 370,000 students to 330,000 students. From 2002 to 2013, the number of students enrolled in secondary education increased from 298,000 to 340,000 students.

There has been substantial progress made in improving living conditions in Uruguay. There is still more work that needs to be done in reducing youth unemployment and to help Uruguayans in accessing the public assistance programs. At the same time, there has been a rise in the employment rate and GDP and, in addition, a significant decrease in poverty and extreme poverty. Uruguay also has a very high literacy rate and high enrollment rates in early childhood pre-primary secondary education. With a sustained commitment to ameliorating living conditions in Uruguay, Uruguay can keep moving in a positive direction.

– Daniel McAndrew-Greiner

Photo: Flickr

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