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LN – The inequality gap between Argentine youth grows


According to the report “Radiography of youth in Argentina” prepared by the Observatory of the Argentine Social Debt (ODSA) of the UCA, the gaps in this population are maintained or tend to increase.

This means that young people from the marginal working class are 10 times more likely to have no social, mutual or prepaid work than the richest; 7 times more chances of not studying or working; 6 times less chance of having personal projects, and 3 times more likely to experience a lack of structural social support.

The areas where this inequality is most evident are in health and education. “When you analyze these areas in childhood, you find that adolescents are the ones who most distance themselves from preventive consultation, both in the clinic and in the clinic. of the dentist, and that around 15 years old they also start to move away from the educational system “, explains Ianina Tuñón, coordinator of the ODSA.

The objective of the document is to synthesize the main characteristics of young people in the current urban Argentina and the inequalities that cross them. The following dimensions were investigated: sociodemographic characteristics; socio-educational characteristics; living conditions and habitat; insertion in economic activity and occupational characteristics; health conditions and preventive habits; disability; problematic substance use; deprivation of liberty; subjective well-being and psychosocial resources.

The ODSA was able to construct an X-ray of the incidence and evolution in the medium term of different indicators of human development and social integration of young people. Likewise, the social inequalities that mark the opportunities faced by young people in Argentina could be evaluated, evidencing the existence of multiple ways to cross this stage of the life cycle.

Poor youth – those who are between 18 and 29 years old – are twice as likely to be united or married as their wealthier peers. Regarding their migratory origin, 4% of the young people were born outside of Argentina; In this regard, there are no significant differences by economic-occupational stratum.

“Working in the key of inequality allows you to recognize that society offers different ways in which young people can integrate, beyond traditional ones such as education or work.” Young people also choose other forms of integration such as motherhood and fatherhood, extra legal activities or forms of integration, or artistic and cultural activities “, explains Tuñon.

In terms of family composition, a young person in poverty is 8 times more likely to have children than couples in the most advantaged social stratum, while they do so on average 5 years earlier.

In relation to their educational trajectories, the poorest young people register 9 times more chances of not having finished high school than their more advantaged peers in socioeconomic terms.

“There is not only one reason why young people leave school, it has to do with the fact that the school does not offer them many opportunities to join the world of work and that it is not a place of cohesion. they can not find very different role models, as a place of socialization, the school is also questionable, “adds Tuñón.

If access to decent housing and habitat is examined, there are deprivations and strong asymmetries in the young population. The inequality gaps are obvious: 32.4% of young people in the marginal stratum had a deficit in housing quality compared to 1.8% of those in the medium professional stratum; 28.4% of the former lived in overcrowded condition compared to 0.3% of the latter; and 25.9% and 0.3%, respectively, had a deficit in the conditions of their homes.

In the 2017-2018 biennium, 4.6% of young people in urban Argentina lived in households in which one of their members had been or was deprived of their freedom. This proportion amounted to 6.6% among young people of the marginal working class and was reduced to 0.2% among those of the professional middle class.

“The coverage of this problem is very broad in the media but the truth is that the types of crimes are different in each of the strata,” the statistics also show that the incidence of adolescents who are deprived of their liberty is not very high. adds Tuñón.

While 75.6% of young people in the professional middle class are active, only 58.7% of those in the marginal stratum are active. That is to say, that the former have 1.3 times more chances of being active than the latter.

“These differences are explained centrally by the unequal participation rate of women in economic activity, which would account for the greater difficulties of young women from lower strata to find employment and to reconcile domestic-family activities with work activities”, says Tuñón.

Other strong data point out that the poorest young people have 7 times more chances of not studying or working than the richest and that the richest young people are three times more likely to have full employment than the poorest.

Regarding access to health, significant differences are also noted: young people from the lower strata have 10 times more chances of not having social, mutual or prepaid work than their peers from the professional middle stratum.

On the other hand, 4 out of 10 young people have not had a medical consultation in the last 12 months and more than 5 out of 10 do not usually do physical exercise at least once a week. “Both deficits increase as the position occupied in the social structure decreases,” says Tuñón.

In urban Argentina, 3.4% of young people have some disability, a proportion that is higher among young people from the lower strata. The latter are three times more likely to have a disability or to live in a home with a member with a disability who pairs in the middle professional stratum.

“This is a characteristic of the poorest sectors in general because this number also includes the people who acquired it throughout their lives, and in that sense, I tend to conjecture that they are disabilities acquired in precarious jobs, accidents or domestic risks. The housing deficits that the poorest people have to face make them more prone to have domestic accidents, “says Tuñón.

Having support networks is essential so that these young people can think and put together a project in the future. In this sense, it is important to point out that while 11.6% of the poorest young people declared that they did not have personal projects, this proportion was reduced to 1.9% among those in the upper stratum. In turn, those from the marginal labor stratum tripled the chances of their peers from the professional stratum of experiencing a deficit of structural social support (22.2% and 8.5%, respectively).

“One of the least studied issues has to do with how young people build social capital, that is, the possibility of bonding with others and learning from others.” This occurs a lot in adolescence where boys have the possibility of recognize roles different from those of their parents and teachers, of knowing people from other socioeconomic strata and educational levels “, explains Tuñón.

He adds: “When school ghettoization occurs, it happens that the boys only know similar pairs and the possibility of leaving that micro climate is much lower, which is why they get jobs similar to those of their family members. less having more years of study, because even when they acquire a better educational level, they do not access the world of relationships where that educational level is more valued “.

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Publicado en el diario La Nación