Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin-America and the Nordic countries
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTønnessen, M. (2019) Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin-America and the Nordic countries. Journal of Comparative Social Work, 14 (1), 1-28. 10.31265/jcsw.v14.i1.231
This article provides an overview and analysis of human development, inequality and people´s perception of social and economic risks in Latin America and the Nordic countries. While Nordic countries rank very highly on the UN´s Human Development Index (HDI) and are known for their ‘Nordic welfare model’, Latin American countries have been making significant progress economically, and with regard to health and education. However, inequality levels remain high throughout Latin America, representing an obstacle to further human development in the region. This is evidenced in the UN´s inequality-adjusted HDI data, among other sources. High levels of inequality translate to a poorer-than-average social welfare for significant portions of the populations in Latin American countries. To a large extent, actual living conditions are reflected in what people perceive as social risks when looking ahead and thinking about their own prospects, as well as those of their families. Improved and more equal living conditions are therefore likely to change people´s life satisfaction, in addition to what they are the most concerned about. In this article, people´s perception of social risks in selected Latin American and Nordic countries is analysed based on data from the OECD´s Cross-National Survey on Social and Economic Risks.