Bolivia’s income inequality persists in spite of general human development improvements in the past decade. Still, 45% of the population lives below the poverty line. Bolivia has one of the highest indigenous (66.2%) and rural populations (31.5%) of the continent based on The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, known as ECLAC, UNECLAC or in Spanish CEPAL.Indigenous face many obstacles including poor soil, a short growing season and a lack of safe water for drinking and irrigation. There is widespread malnutrition.
According to the World Food Project, 59% of rural populations have insufficient income to meet basic nutritional needs. Nearly 25% of households with children under age five lack access to clean water. This contributes to a high infant mortality rate: 43 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in Bolivia compared to 6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the USA (CIA). Furthermore, almost five million Bolivians lack access to sewage systems and fecal waste disposal.