Nestled between Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay boasts Latin America’s highest GDP per capita and lowest poverty rates, and ranked first in the Americas (and 11th in the world) in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2022 Democracy Index. Free and universal education, public health care, strong unions, and a solid social security system have created a social balance that reflects the Uruguayan ethos that nobody is worth more than anybody else, and it has the largest middle class in the Americas -- over 60% of the population. However, disparities exist, including a high cost of living. Immigrants from across Latin America who move to Uruguay for its relative calm find that many basic goods are more expensive in Uruguay than in neighboring Argentina and housing costs can be close to 50% of a monthly minimum wage. Yet as protests simmer in Peru, migrants fill border cities in Mexico, politicians sow divisions in the US, and inflation soars in Argentina, there is increasing interest in how Uruguay functions under what’s “like the Goldilocks rule: not too hot, not too cold.”

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