The United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Its Results in Puerto Rico

The United Nations (UN) has worked hard to forge Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in an attempt to eradicate poverty from the World’s nations. The goal of this initiative is to develop a global standard of living within a society that lives outside of current poverty standards. Accordingly, it has conceptualized several goals for countries across the globe.

In this particular assignment, we set out to collectively analyze its first three targets: to reduce by half the proportion of those living on less than a dollar and twenty-five cents a day, to achieve a full and productive employment and decent vocation for all, including women and young people, and to reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, according to our assignment’s description and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals webpage.

Our group’s efforts were to collect data on Puerto Rico (PR) and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) to see their progression in these objectives.

Unfortunately, as stated in previous analyses, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands are dependent United States territories, which fall under its umbrella (statistically speaking). This means (for the purposes of this course) that data for both these nations is difficult to quantify as there seems to be little to no global statistics on either country regarding the specific indicators that we have been studying throughout this term. By analyzing the data compiled, it is quite evident that there needs to be further, more specific studies made on these island nations individually, without assimilating them together with its “mother nation”, so to speak.

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With regards to the limited data collected on this particular assignment, we see that within the UN’s standards, PR’s employment to population ratio throughout the past three decades has been small compared to the USVI’s. Juxtaposing a 41.4 ratio in 2000 versus a 93.9 ratio, it seems that the USVI has a larger demographic of their population in the workforce. Even though the ratio has declined in recent years as seen in the 2010 statistics, it is still quite remarkable that the USVI has a much larger part of their population participating in the workforce than PR.

There was no data available neither for the population below the $1.25 per day nor for the population undernourished. As a general assumption, we believe that this is due to the status of both countries dependence on the U.S. and its standards of living. Sadly, we have no data to rely on for this assumption and we are obliged to base our assumptions on personal observations.

By looking at the total net enrollment ratio in primary education and literacy rates, even though statistical data was not necessarily available, it seems that both nations pair up with the continental U.S. If you look at PR’s statistics for literacy, most of its inhabitants are literate with numbers such as 93.2 in 1990 and 98.8 in 2010.

There was little data found on gender parity and the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament; perhaps because both nations’ representation, politically speaking, is small. However, we did find that in 1990 the gender disparity in primary enrollment in USVI was 0.86, whilst in 2010 in PR it was 1.04. The share of women in wage employment in the non- agricultural sector was quite high – in 1990 PRs share was 46.5 while in USVI it was 48.3.

Lastly, the proportion of seats held by women in parliament resulted in zero data found even though there has been notable female representation for these silent territories throughout time. For example, Sila María Calderón was the first female governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 2001 and Dona Marie Christian-Christensen was a non-voting Delegate from the USVI in the United States House of Representative in 1997.

In summary, we collectively agree that there needs to be further colloquial studies made in these quasi-independent countries made in order to make an accurate assessment as to what their progress has been within the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

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The United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Its Results in Puerto Rico. (2023, Feb 15). Retrieved from

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