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By M. H. J. Finch

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However, a high proportion oflabour is employed in livestock production such that labour is dispersed over wide areas and for that reason is less able to defend itself. The problem of wage rates below the legal minimum level is still found. Employers discriminate in favour of unmarried men or those unencumbered by obligations to their families, so that normal social responsibilities are evaded by employers and the work force. The massive sex imbalance in this stratum of the rural population is reflected in a preponderance of women in the rural population concentrations.

The limited supply of land suitable for arable production, the absence of unclaimed land available for extensive colonisation and settlement schemes, and the reduction of the labour requirement in livestock production with the adoption of wire fencing, all encouraged the majority of immigrants either to move on to Argentina or to remain in Montevideo. 3 per cent. 96 per cent) had more rapid rates. The increasing concentration of population in Montevideo is not explained by a higher rate of natural increase.

2 7 Indeed, it was argued in the previous chapter that further increases in this price were perceived as intolerable by the 1960s. As a result, Montevideo was no longer able to absorb the rural exodus, and increased emigration has been the inevitable consequence. II. Social Structure Rural The most frequent generalisations made about the social structure of Uruguay concern the large size and significance of the middle class. Estimates of its size have been made in order to suggest its importance, to which in turn certain national social values, especially preference for security, conservatism, reliance on institutions and the importance of family, have been ascribed.

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