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5822 - Standard of living in Guatemala ¿ selected issues

Both the standard of living and quality of life are subjects of interest to researchers in the fields of geography, economics, sociology, social policy and statistics. Unfortunately, the two terms are often confused or used interchangeably, which makes comparative analysis difficult. The standard of living describes the degree to which basic human needs are being met. This is an objective measure based on quantitative indicators. On the other hand, the quality of life measures just how satisfied individuals are with the degree to which their needs are being met. This is a subjective measure and it is difficult to quantify. The standard of living is measured using quantitative indicators, while the quality of life is described in terms of opinions, feelings and personal judgment. The paper describes spatial differences in the standard of living across selected parts of Guatemala . A number of issues are considered including basic residential infrastructure such as running water as well as access to medical care and education. Spatial differences in the rate of poverty and social exclusion are analyzed in the paper, which also reviews key factors behind these spatial differences. A number of factors are analyzed including age structure, education, employment structure, rate of employment and place of residence. Finally, the paper reviews strategic poverty reduction plans and spatial management plans published by local governments in Guatemala

Keywords: Standard of living, Guatemala, needs, poverty

Author: Winiarczyk-Razniak, Anna (Institute of Geography, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland / Polen)

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