The Map of Urban Poverty and Social Exclusion in El Salvador

On April 21st, the United Nations Development Program in El Salvador, Ministry of Economics, and the Latin American School of Social Science prested the “Map of Urban Poverty and Social Exclusion” (the Map) to President Funes. The Map, which is two volumes, each hundreds of pages in length, maps out and analyzes the “Precarious Urban Settlements” (AUPs, in Spanish) throughout El Salvador.  AUPs are the locations where the most low-income populations reside.  The AUPs are characterized by housing with deficient living conditions, whether measured in construction materials or their access to different types and qualities of residential services.

The Map indicates that over half of the impoverished in El Salvador live in urban areas. The Metropolitan Area of San Salvador has the highest number of impoverished people, while the city of Santa Ana the most number of AUPs.  The cities of Ahuachapán and Cuscatlán have the highest percentages, with 80% of their populations living in AUPs. The map identified 2,508 AUPs in all of El Salvador, with a total population of 2,005,646 living in 495,981 homes. To qualify for the study, a community had to have 50 homes or more.  If the researchers counted the communities with less than 50 homes the number of AUPs would increase to 3400. The study broke down the AUPs according to severity. Almost 22% of all AUPs are classified as extremely precarious, while another 31% are classified as very precarious. Only 28% qualified as moderately precarious and 19% not very precarious.

The report doesn’t necessarily offer up policy recommendations to address the needs of the AUPs. Rather, it presents facts and analysis necessary to develop policies and programs. We will post more on the report as we make our way through it. In the meantime, click here to download the report in Spanish.


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