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Divergences in the definition of poverty in Mexico and Central America

Sociology International Journal
Miguel Angel Barrera Rojas


The number of poor people that a country reports in its national statistics depends largely on how poverty is operationalized. This undoubtedly generates divergence at the time of making a macro-level shared analysis, since when using totally different dimensions in each country, even if in Latin America the Unsatisfied Basic Needs method is used, data will be generated that are not necessarily homogenized. Hence, the objective of this document is to analyze the divergence in the definition of poverty in Mexico and Central America. For this, the construction of a matrix that explains the operationalization categories that each country in the study region makes about poverty was proposed. This matrix was nourished by a vast documentary review of the methodologies for measuring poverty in the countries of study. Among the most important results is that although it is true that the countries of study conform to the methodology of Unsatisfied Basic Needs, the categories that each country uses are different, thus generating a regional framing problem for the definition of poverty.


divergence, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Mexico, indigenous population, socio-economic, economic capacity