The Social Panorama of Latin America provides an annual assessment of the most salient aspects of social development in Latin America, with particular emphasis on the question of equity. Among the issues it examines are poverty, education, the situation of children and young people, gender and social expenditure. It also presents an overview of how Governments are implementing their social agendas and reviews new policy directions in various social sectors. The main emphasis of the 1997 edition of the Panorama is on the structural aspects of income and employment distribution and the intergenerational transmission of educational and work opportunities. Legislative measures taken in the past few years are reviewed, as well as the steps that have been taken in the region to modernize State social institutions and the principal aspects of this new institutional structure. The Social Panorama of Latin America also presents a summary of the first Regional Conference in Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, held in Sao Paulo in April 1997.