The middle class in Latin America and the Caribbean region grew by 50 percent over the past decade.
Higher levels of education, more women and urban dwellers entering the work force and smaller families were among the factors, according to a World Bank report released Tuesday.
The middle class in the region grew to 152 million people in 2009 up from 103 million in 2003, so that there are now nearly as many middle-class people as there are poor - a major achievement in a region long known for its wealth inequity.
The report defined middle class as anyone making between US$10 and $50 per day.
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