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Which Latin American countries are the most socially inclusive?

Americas Quarterly created a new 'social inclusion index' to compare countries across the region and track their progress over time. Here are the three top countries, two poorest-ranking countries, and one whose ranking may come as a surprise.

The worst: Nicaragua and Guatemala

Nicaragua received an overall score of 10.3, while Guatemala came in last at 7.5 for overall social inclusion.

Both nations are hurt by high levels of poverty and stark inequalities by race, ethnicity, and gender in terms of access to education, jobs, and housing. Guatemala has one of the lowest rates of social spending in the region. One bright note is the sense of personal empowerment that Nicaraguans feel. They rank at No. 3 on that variable. Personal empowerment is a standard measure, drawn from 2010 AmericasBarometer survey data, which is based on the statement: “You feel that you understand the most important political issues of the country.”

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