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Russia, Population Decline, and Big Tech

Latinometrics Weekly
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
Welcome to our new 153 subscribers joining us this week!
Today’s charts:
  1. What does Russia import from the region?
  2. Three countries in Latin America with declining populations
  3. Big Tech Recruiting

Trade 🇷🇺
Visualizing Russia's Economic Ties With LatAm
Visualizing Russia's Economic Ties With LatAm
After our Ukraine chart from last week, some in our audience wondered how sanctions against Russia would affect its trade with Latin America. So, we charted Russian imports from the region.
Before February 22, Russia was subjected to 2,754 international sanctions. Vladimir Putin then attacked Ukraine. Since then, other countries have announced new sanctions almost daily, skyrocketing to a total of 5,581 as of today. This means that Russia is now the world’s most sanctioned country, surpassing Iran and Syria.
Interestingly, no Latin American country has joined the movement; Brazil and Mexico both said they would not impose sanctions. Russia has developed significant relationships with several Latin American governments, particularly authoritarian regimes, during the last few years. It appears that those efforts have paid off. However, that might change. A US delegation approached Venezuela during the Ukraine crisis, and tensions could be relaxing soon.
As our chart shows, Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico represent 60% of Russia’s imports from LatAm. Mexico is the only country in the top 10 whose top product is industrial and not agricultural. Additionally, Brazil and Mexico represent 68% of Russia’s exports to LatAm.
However, there’s little that sanctions could do, as LatAm’s share in Russia’s trade accounts for 2.1% – less than Africa’s share of 2.5%.
Demographics 📉
Three LatAm Countries Have a Declining Population
Three LatAm Countries Have a Declining Population
This chart shows the three countries in Latin America that have seen their populations drop in recent years. For the most part, the trend can be explained due to emigration to other countries due to poor conditions.
Puerto Rico has had a string of disasters that have prompted its residents to flee the country in record numbers. Out of the 3 countries on the chart, it has the most severe drop in population in part because Puerto Ricans are born as US citizens, so they’re free to move to any US state. The sharpest declines came during the 2017-2019 period, right after Hurricane Maria. It resulted in 3,059 deaths and left an estimated $91.6B damage.
Once flourishing, Venezuela’s economy is now in shambles. Yearly GDP has been shrinking, while inflation has skyrocketed, leaving the general population sometimes unable to pay for basic needs like toilet paper. Citizens have been flocking to other countries at a record pace, choosing Colombia, Peru, and Chile as their top destinations. Cuban citizens have faced a similar fate, with the most prolonged communist regime in Latin America.
It’s interesting to note that starting in 2008, Latin America’s population started growing at a slower pace than the world’s average. This trend is common among more developed nations.
Big Tech 💻
Amazon is on a Hiring Spree in LatAm
Amazon is on a Hiring Spree in LatAm
Amazon is dominating Big Tech’s expansion into Latin America. On Monday, it had 2,123 open roles (including AWS) across the region. The company is famous for being a great source of talent and has invested heavily to earn that reputation. Last month, it revealed it would more than double the max base salary in the US from $160K to $350K to remain competitive in the talent market.
A less known fact is that it’s also been expanding its data center presence in LatAm. We were surprised to see so many open roles for its AWS (Amazon Web Services) division, headed by Jaime Valles. The division was originally created as Amazon’s response to an internal need to scale cloud computing infrastructure and continue growing. Instead of hiring a company to provide tech services for Amazon, it decided to turn a necessity into a product, and it now brings about $16B in revenues for the company each quarter.
Microsoft’s LatAm division, headed by Rodrigo Kede Lima, is also betting big in the data center space and talent. According to its website, it has 52 data centers around Latin America. Most recently, it announced plans to invest $317M in a new data center in Chile.
To give you a taste of Amazon’s opportunities, we featured one of their positions we think is perfect for our audience below. We’ll be thrilled to learn if one of our readers gets it!
Realize Latin America’s Potential 🚀
This is our new section in which we hand-select an exciting job opportunity, based on what we know about our audience (e.g., industries, job functions).
This week’s opportunity:
  • Amazon is looking for a Catalog Lead for its Mexico City office.
  • Requirements: Data-driven person with 1+ year of experience in buying, account management, operations, project management, sales, or marketing.
  • What you’ll do: Handle relationships with vendors.
Hiring Managers: Reply to this email if you’d like to feature an open role in our newsletter.
That’s all for this week 👋
Want more?
Comment of the week, from our Reddit thread on Argentina’s inflation. (The austral was the currency of Argentina between 1985 and 1991):
Comment of the week (Reddit)
Comment of the week (Reddit)
Join the discussion on social media, where we’ll be posting today’s charts throughout the week. Follow us on TwitterLinkedInInstagram, or Facebook. We also opened a Telegram channel.
Feedback or chart suggestions? Reply to this email, and let us know! :)
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