In Mexico , as well as Colombia , it takes up to 11 generations for a child born in poverty to reach the average level of income in their country. According to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OCDE) .

On average, within countries participating in the OCDE, it takes 4.5 generations for a child in poverty to earn their country’s average level of income. In countries like Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden , it only takes between two and three generations.

As for countries in Latin America , in Argentina it takes six generations ; in Brazil , it takes nine , and 11 in Colombia . During the presentation of a study on intergenerational social mobility called “A broken social ladder?” Gabriela Ramos, general director of the OCDE , explained that the study had tried to determine cross-generational social mobility rates, which translates into determining how long it takes for children born in families with a low level of income to lift themselves to higher income levels and whether or not the social fabric allowed this type of advancement.

Mexico among most unequal countries in the world
Mexico among most unequal countries in the world

“The countries that showed more inequality also showed less social mobility. It is practically impossible for the poor to overcome their condition by stimulating investment,” stated Ramos.

The study also showed a concerning inequality increase.

In the 1980s, the average income of 10% of the wealthiest people was 7 times higher than that of the poorest 10% . It grew to 8 in the 1990s, and now, the difference is of 9 to 1 , specially in the most developed countries.

In Mexico, the average income of the richest 10% is 20 times higher than that of the poorest 10%.

Ramos added that there were other factors in addition to income levels, such as the education of the parents, the neighborhood where they lived in, social media, education quality, and the parents’ capacity to orient their children and transmit non-cognitive skills such as discipline and self-esteem.


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