LAC Equity Lab: A Platform for Poverty and Inequality Analysis
The LAC Equity Lab is a data-sharing platform featuring the latest indicators and analytics on poverty, shared prosperity, inequality, and equity in Latin America and the Caribbean. The platform provides an interactive way to visualize the region’s ongoing progress towards the World Bank’s twin goals of reducing extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity, as well as many other indicators.

Over the previous decade, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) had been characterized by sharp reductions in poverty and inequality, and an increasing middle class. Poverty reduction had been accompanied by strong income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population, the World Bank’s definition of shared prosperity. However, about one quarter of the population continues to live in poverty while inequality -both in income and opportunities- in the region remains high. In addition, the recent regional economic slowdown threatens to turn back many of the achievements of the previous decade.

Each of the topics on the left tab of the platform presents interactive dashboards with relevant and up-to-date indicators by country or for the region. The links at the top right corner provide access to analysis on pertinent issues in the region. These include the Poverty and Inequality Monitoring series, blogs and other publications on recent topics of interest in the LAC region. 

Learn more about our work.

Update: Read the winning blog entry from our recent #LACfeaturegraph Blog Contest! Author Joaquín Muñoz of Chile discusses why universal access to education alone won't close Latin America's income gap. 


Poverty rate: The poverty rate, also known as the headcount index, measures the proportion of the population that is below the poverty line.
Poverty gap: The poverty gap index measures the extent to which individuals fall below the poverty line (the poverty gaps) as a proportion of the poverty line. The sum of these poverty gaps gives the minimum cost of eliminating poverty, if transfers were perfectly targeted.
Poverty severity: The poverty severity index combines information on both poverty and inequality. It averages the squares of the poverty gaps relative to the poverty line.
Growth Bottom 40: This indicator, which is used to monitor shared prosperity, shows growth in real per capita income (or consumption) of the bottom 40 percent of the income (or consumption) distribution in a country.
Gini coefficient: The most common measure of inequality is the Gini coefficient. It is based on the Lorenz curve, a cumulative frequency curve that compares the distribution of a specific variable (for example, income) with the uniform distribution that represents equality. To construct the Gini coefficient, graph the cumulative percentage of households (from poor to rich) on the horizontal axis and the cumulative percentage of income (or expenditure) on the vertical axis. The Gini captures the area between this curve and a completely equal distribution. If there is no difference between these two, the Gini coefficient becomes 0, equivalent to perfect equality, while if they are very far apart, the Gini coefficient becomes 1, which corresponds to complete inequality.