In Latin America and the Caribbean, 94% of primary-school age children were enrolled at school, but the figure was just 75% for the secondary level of education. Also, the average number of people on technical or university courses was three times higher in the richest quintile than in the poorest quintile, according to data reproduced by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The new edition of the Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2012, which is now available online, includes information on gaps in the population's education levels and between socio-economic groups, as well as other relevant figures describing the economic, social and environmental development of the region's countries.
This annual publication, which is one of the most important of this United Nations regional commission, updates the statistical series of indicators in these areas and includes a considerable amount of existing information. It therefore constitutes a reference source for anyone who needs statistical data that are comparable among countries and over time.
In the economic and social field, for instance, the Yearbook shows an increasingly striking downward trend in the energy intensity of GDP. This means that countries require smaller volumes of (renewable and non-renewable) energy to produce a monetary unit of production. Between 1990 and 2011, the amount went down from 1.42 to 1.28 in the region.
The document also includes relevant data on the region's economic reality, such as per capita GDP, which make it possible to carry out international comparisons and time analyses for each and every country.
The Statistical Yearbook of ECLAC reflects one of the lynchpins of the Commission's work, namely the processing, compilation, systematization and dissemination of statistics and social, economic and environmental indicators for Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as the gathering and transmission of international recommendations and methods in statistical matters.
As in previous issues, the Statistical Yearbook 2012 is organized into four chapters:
Demographic and social aspects: population, employment, gender, education and health indicators.
Economic statistics providing information on price indices, international trade, balance of payments and national accounts.
Information on the environment and natural resources, organized under topics such as biota, water, forests, energy and environmental management.
Methodological aspects relating to data sources, definition and coverage.
Most of the information comes directly from National Statistical Offices, Central Banks and other official institutions, and ECLAC invites users to take note of the sources and technical notes included in the document.
The chapter on environmental statistics provides information exclusively from international sources, as they have greater geographical coverage, longer time series and increased comparability.
More statistical information on Latin America and the Caribbean is available on the CEPALSTAT website, which includes a series of thematic databases that are periodically updated to cover various aspects (including social, national accounts, environment, gender, productive activities and foreign trade).
The full document in PDF format and the Excel tables of the Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2012 are available on the ECLAC website.