Uruguayan Government Hails Top Ranking on AQ Social Inclusion Index


August 6, 2013


In a communication published today by Uruguay's presidential office, Uruguayan Minister of Social Development Daniel Olesker discussed why his country leads the list of 16 countries in the hemisphere that were ranked in Americas Quarterly's recently-published 2013 Social Inclusion Index.

Though Uruguay ranked ninth in the Index in terms of GDP growth, it led AQ's overall ranking of social inclusion in the hemisphere with a total score of 75.5, leading runner-up Chile (which scored 68.4) and the United States (which scored 64.6). Out of 21 total variables that were measured in the Index, Uruguay earned first-place scores in political rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, percent of the population living on more than $4 per day, perceptions of government responsiveness by race and gender, and access to formal jobs by race and gender. It also earned high scores on a number of other variables.

"Uruguay is first in civil rights, surpassing Chile and the U.S. It's first in political rights and LGBT rights, and in rights related to gender and race," Olesker noting, emphasizing the fact that while economic growth is an important factor in the AQ Index, it is not enough to ensure social inclusion on its own. "All this demonstrates that Uruguay's two-pronged approach to equality, which seeks to improve income equality and improve access to equal rights, has been successful."

Uruguay has recently passed several important pieces of legislation designed to promote greater inclusion and equality in the country. In April this year, Uruguayan Congress approved same-sex marriage, which was signed into law in May. LBGT couples began registering for marriage this week. Uruguayan voters also rejected a referendum in June that would have appealed South America's most liberal abortion law, passed by Congress last October. The country is currently in the process of approving an affirmative action law that will establish racial quotas for Afro-descendants who are applying for goverment jobs.

One of Uruguay's leading newspapers, El País, recently published an article on the country's top score in AQ's Social Inclusion Index. Uruguayan Minister of the Interior Eduardo Bonomi and Labor Minister Eduardo Brenta have also commented on the results.

View the 2013 Social Inclusion Index and learn more about it here.

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