South American Children’s Quality of Life: Intra-Urban Disparities along Life-Cycle Indicators

  • Diego Born
  • Victoria Colamarco
  • Enrique Delamónica
  • Alberto Minujín


By 2015, 80% of the population in South America was living in urban areas. Although children in urban areas, on average, enjoy better conditions than children in rural areas, millions of urban children struggle to overcome poverty. There is no “urban advantage” in terms of Quality of Life for them. In this context, understanding the inequalities affecting urban children is imperative. Although there is a large body of quantitative analysis on urban-rural disparities, inequities within cities are under-explored. This knowledge is crucial for promoting and designing policies to promote Quality of Life among children and adolescents in the region. This article describes evidence on intra-urban inequalities affecting children’s and adolescents’ Quality of Life and the full realization of their rights in South America. These results stem from Household Surveys covering the last 10 years. Based on housing characteristics, income level and parents’ educational status, households were classified in three groups: experiencing highly deprived, moderately deprived or non-deprived living conditions. Relative and absolute gaps for several indicators were analyzed to compare children living in highly deprived and non-deprived households. In most countries, intra-urban disparities are larger than urban-rural ones. Also, urban children in highly deprived living conditions fare worse than the average rural child. Thus, it is important to focus on highly deprived urban children. Local/municipal governments have plenty of authority to design and implement policies specifically addressing urban children and their Quality of Life.


Children Quality of life South America Inequality Intra-urban inequality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Born
    • 1
  • Victoria Colamarco
    • 2
  • Enrique Delamónica
    • 3
  • Alberto Minujín
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Buenos Aires and Equity for ChildrenBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.UNICEF CubaHabanaCuba
  3. 3.UNICEFNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Equity for Children, The New SchoolNew YorkUSA

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