Chapter 1. Unleashing Strong, Sustainable, and Inclusive Growth in the Caribbean


Since attaining independence in the 1960s and 1970s, Caribbean countries have registered strong economic and social outcomes. Per capita incomes have risen, with most Caribbean countries now in the top 25 percent of all emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs).1 Median life expectancy is 73 years, compared with 70 years for other EMDEs; infant mortality is relatively low; and female labor force participation relatively high (Figure 1.1). Poverty rates are comparable to other EMDEs. Beyond these achievements, Caribbean countries have developed strong democratic traditions, with public policies actively debated and influenced by the aspirations of their people.