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Americas Quarterly Fall Issue Launch—Latin America’s Real Middle Class

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

March 21, 2013


Who is Latin America’s new middle class? What are the implications of the recent expansion of the middle class for political stability, economic growth, and investment? In the last two decades, Latin America has seen an unprecedented number of its citizens leave poverty. Recent reports have estimated that in Brazil alone, 40 million people have entered the ranks of the middle class.

Americas Quarterly launched the journal’s Fall 2012 issue on Latin America’s real middle class. The issue examines the structure of the middle class in the developing region, compares Latin America's middle class to the middle classes in the BRIC countries, looks at their opinions and values on issues like support for democracy and political tolerance, and evaluates the challenges—political and economic—presented by this fast-growing albeit still-vulnerable demographic. Panelists discussed characteristics of this new middle class, the reasons behind their emergence and growth, the racial and gender limits of this new demographic, and how the middle classes’ consumption habits are affecting investment and markets.


  • María-Eugenia Boza, Consultant, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Development Programme
  • Cecilia López Montaño, President of Centro Internacional de Pensamiento Social y Económico in Colombia (CISOE)
  • Jamele Rigolini, Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, The World Bank
  • Matthew Singer, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Connecticut
  • Christopher Sabatini, Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly; Senior Director of Policy, AS/COA (moderator)

Event Information: Wilda Escarfuller at or 212-277-8387.
Press: Adriana La Rotta at or 1-212-277-8384.

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