Why is there poverty in South America?

Latin America

Heinrich-W. Krumwiede

To person

Dr. phil. habil., born 1943; formerly research assistant at the Science and Politics Foundation and associate professor at the University of Augsburg.
Address: Marklandstr. 22, 81549 Munich.
Email: [email protected]

Numerous publications on church and politics, revolution and conflict regulation in Central America and democratic transition processes.

In Latin America, poverty affects more than 40 percent of the population. The main reasons for this are the poor influence of the poor.


In Germany, poverty is a marginal phenomenon, the - mostly not lifelong, but temporary - fate of a minority. [1] In the past few years, around ten percent of the population has been affected by poverty. Certain "problem groups" with a high "risk of poverty", e.g. the unemployed and single parents, can be identified. Poverty is also not perceived as a priority problem because the welfare state takes care of it and ensures that the subsistence level is not undercut, which is still considered acceptable. In contrast, poverty is a key problem in Latin America. Why this is so is explained below. The article does not deal with the specific characteristics of rural poverty, but only deals with urban poverty.