Poverty is the state of having few material possessions or little
Income is the consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms. Income is difficult to define conceptually and the definition may be different across fields. F ...
. Poverty can have diverse
Social organisms, including human(s), live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary or not.
The word "social" derives from ...
An economy is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services. In general, it is defined as a social domain that emphasize the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with ...
, and political
causes and effects. When evaluating poverty in statistics or economics there are two main measures: ''
Extreme poverty, deep poverty, abject poverty, absolute poverty, destitution, or penury, is the most severe type of poverty, defined by the United Nations (UN) as "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, includ ...
'' compares income against the amount needed to meet basic personal needs
, such as
Food is any substance consumed by an organism for nutritional support. Food is usually of plant, animal, or fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingest ...
Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the human body, body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from animal skin and other thin sheets of materials ...
Shelter is a small building giving temporary protection from bad weather or danger.
Shelter may also refer to:
* Port Shelter, Hong Kong
* Shelter Bay (disambiguation), various locations
* Shelter Cove (disambiguation), various locat ...
The poverty threshold, poverty limit, poverty line or breadline is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. The poverty line is usually calculated by estimating the total cost of one year's worth of necessities for ...
'' measures when a person cannot meet a minimum level of living standards
, compared to others in the same time and place. The definition of ''relative poverty'' varies from one country to another, or from one
A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societi ...
Statistically, , most of the world's population live in poverty: in PPP
dollars, 85% of people live on less than $30 per day, two-thirds live on less than $10 per day, and 10% live on less than $1.90 per day (extreme poverty).
According to the World Bank Group in 2020, more than 40% of the poor live in conflict-affected countries. Even when countries experience
In the economics study of the public sector, economic and social development is the process by which the economic well-being and quality of life of a nation, region, local community, or an individual are improved according to targeted goals and ...
, the poorest citizens of middle-income countries frequently do not gain an adequate share of their countries' increased wealth to leave poverty. Governments and non-governmental organizations have experimented with a number of different policies and programs for
Poverty reduction, poverty relief, or poverty alleviation, is a set of measures, both economic and humanitarian, that are intended to permanently lift people out of poverty.
Measures, like those promoted by Henry George in his economics c ...
, such as electrification in rural areas
or housing first policies
in urban areas. The international policy frameworks for poverty alleviation, established by the United Nations
in 2015, are summarized in Sustainable Development Goal 1: "No Poverty"
Social forces, such as
Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to femininity and masculinity and differentiating between them. Depending on the context, this may include sex-based social structures (i.e. gender roles) and gender identity. Most cultures ...
Disability is the experience of any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or have equitable access within a given society. Disabilities may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, s ...
, race and ethnicity
, can exacerbate issues of poverty—with women,
A child ( : children) is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty, or between the developmental period of infancy and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger ...
and minorities frequently bearing unequal burdens of poverty. Moreover, impoverished individuals are more vulnerable to the effects of other social issues, such as the environmental effects of industry
or the impacts of climate change
A natural disaster is "the negative impact following an actual occurrence of natural hazard in the event that it significantly harms a community". A natural disaster can cause loss of life or damage property, and typically leaves some econ ...
s or extreme weather events
. Poverty can also make other social problems
worse; economic pressures on impoverished communities frequently play a part in
Deforestation or forest clearance is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land that is then converted to non-forest use. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban use. The most concentrated d ...
Biodiversity loss includes the worldwide extinction of different species, as well as the local reduction or loss of species in a certain habitat, resulting in a loss of biological diversity. The latter phenomenon can be temporary or permanent, d ...
An ethnic conflict is a conflict between two or more contending ethnic groups. While the source of the conflict may be political, social, economic or religious, the individuals in conflict must expressly fight for their ethnic group's positio ...
. For this reason, the UN's
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked objectives designed to serve as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future".United Nations (2017) R ...
and other international policy programs, such as the international recovery from COVID-19, emphasize the connection of poverty alleviation with other societal goals.
Definitions and etymology
The word ''poverty'' comes from the old (Norman) French word ''poverté'' (Modern French: ''pauvreté),'' from Latin ''paupertās'' from ''pauper'' (poor).
There are several definitions of poverty depending on the context of the situation it is placed in, and usually references a state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials for a certain standard of living.
: Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one's food or a job to earn one's living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ...
: Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many
In physics and mathematics, the dimension of a mathematical space (or object) is informally defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify any point within it. Thus, a line has a dimension of one (1D) because only one coordina ...
s. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival
with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one's life.
The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has often been de ...
(EU): The European Union's definition of poverty is significantly different from definitions in other parts of the world, and consequently policy measures introduced to combat poverty in EU countries also differ from measures in other nations. Poverty is measured in relation to the distribution of income in each member country using relative income poverty lines.
Relative-income poverty rates in the EU are compiled by the
Eurostat ('European Statistical Office'; DG ESTAT) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Eurostat's main responsibilities are to provide statistical information ...
, in charge of coordinating, gathering, and disseminating member country
Statistics (from German: '' Statistik'', "description of a state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, indus ...
The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has often been de ...
Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) surveys.
Absolute poverty, often synonymous with 'extreme poverty' or 'abject poverty', refers to a set standard which is consistent over time and between countries. This set standard usually refers to "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services."
[UN declaration at World Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995]
Having an income below the
The poverty threshold, poverty limit, poverty line or breadline is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. The poverty line is usually calculated by estimating the total cost of one year's worth of necessities for ...
, which is defined as an income needed to purchase basic needs, is also referred to as ''primary proverty''.
The "dollar a day" poverty line was first introduced in 1990 as a measure to meet such standards of living. For nations that do not use the US dollar as currency, "dollar a day" does not translate to living a day on the equivalent amount of local currency as determined by the exchange rate
Rather, it is determined by the
purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity (PPP) is the measurement of prices in different countries that uses the prices of specific goods to compare the absolute purchasing power of the countries' currencies. PPP is effectively the ratio of the price of a bask ...
rate, which would look at how much local currency is needed to buy the same things that a dollar could buy in the United States.
[ Usually, this would translate to having less local currency than if the exchange rate was used as the United States is a relatively more expensive country.] [
From 1993 through 2005, the ] World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ... defined absolute poverty as $1.08 a day on such a purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity (PPP) is the measurement of prices in different countries that uses the prices of specific goods to compare the absolute purchasing power of the countries' currencies. PPP is effectively the ratio of the price of a bask ... basis, after adjusting for inflation to the 1993 US dollar and in 2008, it was updated as $1.25 a day (equivalent to $1.00 a day in 1996 US prices) and in 2015, it was updated as living on less than US$1.90 per day, and ''moderate poverty'' as less than $2 or $5 a day. Similarly, 'ultra-poverty' is defined by a 2007 report issued by International Food Policy Research Institute as living on less than 54 cents per day. The poverty line threshold of $1.90 per day, as set by the World Bank, is controversial. Each nation has its own threshold for absolute poverty line; in the United States, for example, the absolute poverty line was US$15.15 per day in 2010 (US$22,000 per year for a family of four), while in India it was US$1.0 per day and in China the absolute poverty line was US$0.55 per day, each on PPP basis in 2010. These different poverty lines make data comparison between each nation's official reports qualitatively difficult. Some scholars argue that the World Bank method sets the bar too high, others argue it is too low.
There is disagreement among experts as to what would be considered a realistic poverty rate with one considering it "an inaccurately measured and arbitrary cut off". Some contend that a higher poverty line is needed, such as a minimum of $7.40 or even $10 to $15 a day. They argue that these levels would better reflect the cost of basic needs and normal life expectancy.
One estimate places the true scale of poverty much higher than the World Bank, with an estimated 4.3 billion people (59% of the world's population) living with less than $5 a day and unable to meet basic needs adequately. Philip Alston, a UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, stated the World Bank's international poverty line of $1.90 a day is fundamentally flawed, and has allowed for "self congratulatory" triumphalism in the fight against extreme global poverty, which he asserts is "completely off track" and that nearly half of the global population, or 3.4 billion, lives on less than $5.50 a day, and this number has barely moved since 1990. Still others suggest that poverty line misleads as it measures everyone below the poverty line the same, when in reality someone living on $1.20 per day is in a different state of poverty than someone living on $0.20 per day.
Other measures of absolute poverty without using a certain dollar amount include the standard defined as receiving less than 80% of minimum caloric intake whilst spending more than 80% of income on food, sometimes called ultra-poverty.
Relative poverty views poverty as socially defined and dependent on
The social environment, social context, sociocultural context or milieu refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It includes the culture that the individual was educate .... It is argued that the needs considered fundamental is not an objective measure and could change with the custom of society. For example, a person who cannot afford housing better than a small tent in an open field would be said to live in relative poverty if almost everyone else in that area lives in modern brick homes, but not if everyone else also lives in small tents in open fields (for example, in a nomadic tribe). Since richer nations would have lower levels of absolute poverty, relative poverty is considered the "most useful measure for ascertaining poverty rates in wealthy developed nations" and is the "most prominent and most-quoted of the EU social inclusion indicators".
Usually, relative poverty is measured as the percentage of the population with income less than some fixed proportion of median income. This is a calculation of the percentage of people whose family household income falls below the Poverty Line
The poverty threshold, poverty limit, poverty line or breadline is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. The poverty line is usually calculated by estimating the total cost of one year's worth of necessities for .... The main poverty line used in the OECD and the European Union is based on "economic distance", a level of income set at 60% of the median household income. The United States federal government typically regulates this line to three times the cost of an adequate meal.
There are several other different income inequality metrics
Income inequality metrics or income distribution metrics are used by social scientists to measure the distribution of income and economic inequality among the participants in a particular economy, such as that of a specific country or of the worl ..., for example, the Gini coefficient or the Theil Index
The Theil index is a statistic primarily used to measure economic inequality and other economic phenomena, though it has also been used to measure racial segregation.
The Theil index ''T''T is the same as redundancy in information theory which is ....
Rather than income, poverty is also measured through individual basic needs at a time.
Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, current age, and other demographic factors like sex. The most commonly used measure is life expectancy at birth ... has greatly increased in the developing world since World War II and is starting to close the gap to the developed world. Child mortality
Child mortality is the mortality of children under the age of five. The child mortality rate, also under-five mortality rate, refers to the probability of dying between birth and exactly five years of age expressed per 1,000 live births.
It en ... has decreased in every developing region of the world. The proportion of the world's population living in countries where the daily per-capita supply of food energy
Food energy is chemical energy that animals (including humans) derive from their food to sustain their metabolism, including their muscular activity.
Most animals derive most of their energy from aerobic respiration, namely combining the carb ... is less than decreased from 56% in the mid-1960s to below 10% by the 1990s. Similar trends can be observed for literacy, access to clean water and electricity and basic consumer items.
Poverty may also be understood as an aspect of unequal social status
Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to possess. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour, assumed competence, and deference accorded to people, groups, and organizations in a society. ... and inequitable social relationships, experienced as social exclusion, dependency, and diminished capacity to participate, or to develop meaningful connections with other people in society. Such social exclusion can be minimized through strengthened connections with the mainstream, such as through the provision of relational care to those who are experiencing poverty. The World Bank's "Voices of the Poor", based on research with over 20,000 poor people in 23 countries, identifies a range of factors which poor people identify as part of poverty. These include abuse by those in power, dis-empowering institutions, excluded locations, gender relationships, lack of security, limited capabilities, physical limitations, precarious livelihoods, problems in social relationships, weak community organizations and discrimination. Analysis of social aspects of poverty links conditions of scarcity to aspects of the distribution of resources and power in a society and recognizes that poverty may be a function of the diminished "capability" of people to live the kinds of lives they value. The social aspects of poverty may include lack of access to information
Access may refer to:
Companies and organizations
* ACCESS (Australia), an Australian youth network
* Access (credit card), a former credit card in the United Kingdom
* Access Co., a Japanese software company
* Access Healthcare, an Indian BPO ..., education, health care
Health care or healthcare is the improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by healt ..., social capital
Social capital is "the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively". It involves the effective functioning of social groups through interpersonal relationships ... or political power
In social science and politics, power is the social production of an effect that determines the capacities, actions, beliefs, or conduct of actors. Power does not exclusively refer to the threat or use of force ( coercion) by one actor again .... Relational poverty is the idea that societal poverty exists if there is a lack of human relationships. Relational poverty can be the result of a lost contact number, lack of phone ownership, isolation, or deliberate severing of ties with an individual or community. Relational poverty is also understood "by the social institutions that organize those relationships...poverty is importantly the result of the different terms and conditions on which people are included in social life"
In the United Kingdom, the second Cameron ministry came under attack for their redefinition of poverty; poverty is no longer classified by a family's income, but as to whether a family is in work or not. Considering that two-thirds of people who found work were accepting wages that are below the living wage
A living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs. This is not the same as a subsistence wage, which refers to a biological minimum, or a solidarity wage, which refers to a minimum wage tracking labor ... (according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) this has been criticised by anti-poverty campaigners as an unrealistic view of poverty in the United Kingdom.
Secondary poverty refers to those that earn enough income to not be impoverished, but who spend their income on unnecessary pleasures, such as
An alcoholic beverage (also called an alcoholic drink, adult beverage, or a drink) is a drink that contains ethanol, a type of alcohol that acts as a drug and is produced by fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar. The cons ...s, thus placing them below it in practice. In 18th- and 19th-century Great Britain
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island and the List of ..., the practice of temperance among Methodist
Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's br ...s, as well as their rejection of gambling
Gambling (also known as betting or gaming) is the wagering of something of value ("the stakes") on a random event with the intent of winning something else of value, where instances of strategy are discounted. Gambling thus requires three el ..., allowed them to eliminate secondary poverty and accumulate capital. Factors that contribute to secondary poverty includes but are not limited to: alcohol, gambling, tobacco and drugs.
Poverty levels are snapshot pictures in time that omits the transitional dynamics between levels. Mobility statistics supply additional information about the fraction who leave the poverty level. For example, one study finds that in a sixteen-year period (1975 to 1991 in the US) only 5% of those in the lower fifth of the income level were still at that level, while 95% transitioned to a higher income category. Poverty levels can remain the same while those who rise out of poverty are replaced by others. The transient poor and chronic poor differ in each society. In a nine-year period ending in 2005 for the US, 50% of the poorest quintile transitioned to a higher quintile.
According to Chen and Ravallion, about 1.76 billion people in developing world lived ''above'' $1.25 per day and 1.9 billion people lived ''below'' $1.25 per day in 1981. In 2005, about 4.09 billion people in developing world lived above $1.25 per day and 1.4 billion people lived below $1.25 per day (both 1981 and 2005 data are on inflation adjusted basis). The share of the world's population living in absolute poverty fell from 43% in 1981 to 14% in 2011.
The absolute number of people in poverty fell from 1.95 billion in 1981 to 1.01 billion in 2011. The economist Max Roser estimates that the number of people in poverty is therefore roughly the same as 200 years ago. This is the case since the world population was just little more than 1 billion in 1820 and the majority (84% to 94%) of the world population was living in poverty. According to one study the number of people worldwide living in absolute poverty fell from 1.18 billion in 1950 to 1.04 billion in 1977. According to another study, the number of people worldwide estimated to be starving fell from almost 920 million in 1971 to below 797 million in 1997. The proportion of the developing world
A developing country is a sovereign state with a lesser developed industrial base and a lower Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreem ...'s population living in extreme economic poverty fell from 28% in 1990 to 21% in 2001. Most of this improvement has occurred in East
East or Orient is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from west and is the direction from which the Sun rises on the Earth.
As in other languages, the word is formed from the fa ... and South Asia
South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.;;;;;;;; T ....
In 2012 it was estimated that, using a poverty line of $1.25 a day, 1.2 billion people lived in poverty. Given the current economic model, built on GDP
Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjective nature this measure is ofte ..., it would take 100 years to bring the world's poorest up to the poverty line of $1.25 a day. UNICEF
UNICEF (), originally called the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund in full, now officially United Nations Children's Fund, is an agency of the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to ... estimates half the world's children (or 1.1 billion) live in poverty. The World Bank forecasted in 2015 that 702.1 million people were living in extreme poverty, down from 1.75 billion in 1990. Extreme poverty is observed in all parts of the world, including developed economies. Of the 2015 population, about 347.1 million people (35.2%) lived in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area and regions of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. These include West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa. Geopolitically, in addition to the African ... and 231.3 million (13.5%) lived in South Asia
South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.;;;;;;;; T .... According to the World Bank, between 1990 and 2015, the percentage of the world's population living in extreme poverty fell from 37.1% to 9.6%, falling below 10% for the first time. During the 2013 to 2015 period, the World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ... reported that extreme poverty fell from 11% to 10%, however they also noted that the rate of decline had slowed by nearly half from the 25 year average with parts of sub-saharan Africa returning to early 2000 levels. The World Bank attributed this to increasing violence following the Arab Spring
The Arab Spring ( ar, الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in Tunisia in response to corruption and econo ..., population increases in Sub-Saharan Africa, and general African inflationary pressures and economic malaise were the primary drivers for this slow down. Many wealthy nations have seen an increase in relative poverty rates ever since the Great Recession
The Great Recession was a period of marked general decline, i.e. a recession, observed in national economies globally that occurred from late 2007 into 2009. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country (see map). At ..., in particular among children from impoverished families who often reside in substandard housing and find educational opportunities out of reach. It has been argued by some academics that the neoliberal
Neoliberalism (also neo-liberalism) is a term used to signify the late 20th century political reappearance of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism after it fell into decline following the Second World War. A prominent f ... policies promoted by global financial institutions such as the IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster glo ... and the World Bank are actually exacerbating both inequality and poverty.
In East Asia the World Bank reported that "The poverty headcount rate at the $2-a-day level is estimated to have fallen to about 27 percent n 2007 down from 29.5 percent in 2006 and 69 percent in 1990." The People's Republic of China accounts for over three quarters of global poverty reduction from 1990 to 2005, which according to the World Bank is "historically unprecedented". China accounted for nearly half of all extreme poverty
Extreme poverty, deep poverty, abject poverty, absolute poverty, destitution, or penury, is the most severe type of poverty, defined by the United Nations (UN) as "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, includ ... in 1990.
In Sub-Saharan Africa extreme poverty went up from 41% in 1981 to 46% in 2001, which combined with growing population increased the number of people living in extreme poverty from 231 million to 318 million. Statistics of 2018 shows population living in extreme conditions has declined by more than 1 billion in the last 25 years. As per the report published by the world bank on 19 September 2018 world poverty falls below 750 million.
In the early 1990s some of the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia experienced a sharp drop in income. The collapse of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskogo Soyúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. was the process of internal disintegration within the Sov ... resulted in large declines in GDP per capita, of about 30 to 35% between 1990 and the through year of 1998 (when it was at its minimum). As a result, poverty rates tripled, excess mortality increased, and life expectancy declined. By 1999, during the peak of the poverty crisis, 191 million people were living on less than $5.50 a day. In subsequent years as per capita incomes recovered the poverty rate dropped from 31.4% of the population to 19.6%. The average post-communist country had returned to 1989 levels of per-capita GDP by 2005, although as of 2015 some are still far behind that. According to the World Bank in 2014, around 80 million people were still living on less than $5.00 a day. [
World Bank data shows that the percentage of the population living in households with consumption or income per person below the poverty line has decreased in each region of the world except Middle East and North Africa since 1990:
The effects of poverty may also be causes as listed above, thus creating a "poverty cycle" operating across multiple levels, individual, local, national and global.
One-third of deaths around the world—some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day—are due to poverty-related causes. People living in developing nations, among them women and children, are over represented among the global poor and these effects of severe poverty. Those living in poverty suffer disproportionately from hunger or even
Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake, below the level needed to maintain an organism's life. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, de ... and disease, as well as lower life expectancy
Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, current age, and other demographic factors like sex. The most commonly used measure is life expectancy at birth .... According to the World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of ..., hunger
In politics, humanitarian aid, and the social sciences, hunger is defined as a condition in which a person does not have the physical or financial capability to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs for a sustained period. In the ... and malnutrition
Malnutrition occurs when an organism gets too few or too many nutrients, resulting in health problems. Specifically, it is "a deficiency, excess, or imbalance of energy, protein and other nutrients" which adversely affects the body's tissues ... are the single gravest threats to the world's public health and malnutrition is by far the biggest contributor to child mortality
Child mortality is the mortality of children under the age of five. The child mortality rate, also under-five mortality rate, refers to the probability of dying between birth and exactly five years of age expressed per 1,000 live births.
It en ..., present in half of all cases.
Almost 90% of maternal death
Maternal death or maternal mortality is defined in slightly different ways by several different health organizations. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines maternal death as the death of a pregnant mother due to complications related to pre ...s during childbirth occur in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, compared to less than 1% in the developed world. Those who live in poverty have also been shown to have a far greater likelihood of having or incurring a disability
Disability is the experience of any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or have equitable access within a given society. Disabilities may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, s ... within their lifetime. Infectious diseases
An infection is the invasion of tissues by pathogens, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to the infectious agent and the toxins they produce. An infectious disease, also known as a transmissible disease or communicable dis ... such as malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it can cause jaundice, seizures, coma, or ... and tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by ''Mycobacterium tuberculosis'' (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections show no symptoms, in w ... can perpetuate poverty by diverting health and economic resources from investment and productivity; malaria decreases GDP growth by up to 1.3% in some developing nations and AIDS decreases African growth by 0.3–1.5% annually.
Studies have shown that poverty impedes cognitive function although some of these findings could not be replicated in follow-up studies. One hypothesised mechanism is that financial worries put a severe burden on one's mental resources so that they are no longer fully available for solving complicated problems. The reduced capability for problem solving can lead to suboptimal decisions and further perpetuate poverty. Many other pathways from poverty to compromised cognitive capacities have been noted, from poor nutrition and environmental toxins to the effects of stress on parenting behavior, all of which lead to suboptimal psychological development. Neuroscientists have documented the impact of poverty on brain structure and function throughout the lifespan.
Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. 36.8 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 954,492 deaths in 2017.
Poor people often are more prone to severe diseases due to the lack of health care, and due to living in non-optimal conditions. Among the poor, girls tend to suffer even more due to gender discrimination. Economic stability is paramount in a poor household; otherwise they go in an endless loop of negative income trying to treat diseases. Often when a person in a poor household falls ill it is up to the family members to take care of them due to limited access to health care and lack of health insurance. The household members often have to give up their income or stop seeking further education to tend to the sick member. There is a greater opportunity cost imposed on the poor to tend to someone compared to someone with better financial stability.
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is the use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are harmful to the individual or others. It is a form of substance-related disorder. Differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, ... means that the poor typically spend about 2% of their income educating their children but larger percentages of alcohol and tobacco (for example, 6% in Indonesia and 8% in Mexico).
Rises in the costs of living make poor people less able to afford items. Poor people spend a greater portion of their budgets on food than wealthy people. As a result, poor households and those near the poverty threshold can be particularly vulnerable to increases in
Food prices refer to the average price level for food across countries, regions and on a global scale. Food prices have an impact on producers and consumers of food.
Price levels depend on the food production process, including food marketing .... For example, in late 2007 increases in the price of grains led to food riots in some countries. The World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ... warned that 100 million people were at risk of sinking deeper into poverty. Threats to the supply of food may also be caused by drought and the water crisis. Intensive farming
Intensive agriculture, also known as intensive farming (as opposed to extensive farming), conventional, or industrial agriculture, is a type of agriculture, both of crop plants and of animals, with higher levels of input and output per unit of ... often leads to a vicious cycle of exhaustion of soil fertility
Soil fertility refers to the ability of soil to sustain agricultural plant growth, i.e. to provide plant habitat and result in sustained and consistent yields of high quality. and decline of agricultural yields. Approximately 40% of the world's agricultural land
Agricultural land is typically land ''devoted to'' agriculture, the systematic and controlled use of other forms of lifeparticularly the rearing of livestock and production of cropsto produce food for humans. It is generally synonymous with bo ... is seriously degraded. In Africa
Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ..., if current trends of soil degradation
Soil retrogression and degradation are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of a stable soil. Retrogression is primarily due to soil erosion and corresponds to a phenomenon where succession reverts the land to ... continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to United Nations University
The (UNU) is the think tank and academic arm of the United Nations. Headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, with diplomatic status as a UN institution, its mission is to help resolve global issues related to human development and welfare th ...'s Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa. Every year nearly 11 million children living in poverty die before their fifth birthday. 1.02 billion people go to bed hungry every night. According to the Global Hunger Index, Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest child malnutrition rate of the world's regions over the 2001–2006 period.
A psychological study has been conducted by four scientists during inaugural Convention of Psychological Science. The results find that people who thrive with financial stability or fall under low socioeconomic status (SES) tend to perform worse cognitively due to external pressure imposed upon them. The research found that stressors such as low income, inadequate health care, discrimination, and exposure to criminal activities all contribute to mental disorders. This study also found that children exposed to poverty-stricken environments have slower cognitive thinking. It is seen that children perform better under the care of their parents and that children tend to adopt speaking language at a younger age. Since being in poverty from childhood is more harmful than it is for an adult, it is seen that children in poor households tend to fall behind in certain cognitive abilities compared to other average families.
For a child to grow up emotionally healthy, the children under three need "A strong, reliable primary caregiver who provides consistent and unconditional love, guidance, and support. Safe, predictable, stable environments. Ten to 20 hours each week of harmonious, reciprocal interactions. This process, known as attunement, is most crucial during the first 6–24 months of infants' lives and helps them develop a wider range of healthy emotions, including gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy. Enrichment through personalized, increasingly complex activities". In one survey, 67% of children from disadvantaged inner cities said they had witnessed a serious assault, and 33% reported witnessing a homicide. 51% of fifth graders from (median income for a household: $27,133) have been found to be victims of violence, compared to 32% in Washington, DC (mean income for a household: $40,127). Studies have shown that poverty changes the personalities of children who live in it. The Great Smoky Mountains Study was a ten-year study that was able to demonstrate this. During the study, about one-quarter of the families saw a dramatic and unexpected increase in income. The study showed that among these children, instances of behavioral and emotional disorders decreased, and conscientiousness and agreeableness increased.
Research has found that there is a high risk of educational underachievement for children who are from low-income housing circumstances. This is often a process that begins in primary school. Instruction in the US educational system, as well as in most other countries, tends to be geared towards those students who come from more advantaged backgrounds. As a result, children in poverty are at a higher risk than advantaged children for retention in their grade, special deleterious placements during the school's hours and not completing their high school education.
Advantage breeds advantage. There are many explanations for why students tend to drop out of school. One is the conditions in which they attend school. Schools in poverty-stricken areas have conditions that hinder children from learning in a safe environment. Researchers have developed a name for areas like this: an ''urban war zone'' is a poor, crime-laden district in which deteriorated, violent, even warlike conditions and underfunded, largely ineffective schools promote inferior academic performance, including irregular attendance and disruptive or non-compliant classroom behavior. Because of poverty, "Students from low-income families are 2.4 times more likely to drop out than middle-income kids, and over 10 times more likely than high-income peers to drop out."
For children with low resources, the risk factors are similar to others such as juvenile delinquency
Juvenile delinquency, also known as juvenile offending, is the act of participating in unlawful behavior as a minor or individual younger than the statutory age of majority. In the United States of America, a juvenile delinquent is a person ... rates, higher levels of teenage pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy, is pregnancy in a female adolescent or young adult under the age of 20. This includes those who are legally considered adults in their country. The WHO defines adolescence as the period be ..., and economic dependency upon their low-income parent or parents. [Huston, A. C. (1991). Children in Poverty: Child Development and Public Policy. Cambridge: ]
Families and society who submit low levels of investment in the education and development of less fortunate children end up with less favorable results for the children who see a life of parental employment reduction and low wages. Higher rates of early childbearing with all the connected risks to family, health and well-being are major issues to address since education from preschool to high school is identifiably meaningful in a life. Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the university press of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by King Henry VIII in 1534, it is the oldest university press in the world. It is also the King's Printer.
Cambridge University Pre ....
Poverty often drastically affects children's success in school. A child's "home activities, preferences, mannerisms" must align with the world and in the cases that they do not do these, students are at a disadvantage in the school and, most importantly, the classroom. [Solley, Bobbie A. (2005). When Poverty's Children Write: Celebrating Strengths, Transforming Lives. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, Inc.] Therefore, it is safe to state that children who live at or below the poverty level will have far less success educationally than children who live above the poverty line. Poor children have a great deal less healthcare and this ultimately results in many absences from school. Additionally, poor children are much more likely to suffer from hunger, fatigue, irritability, headaches, ear infections, flu, and colds. These illnesses could potentially restrict a student's focus and concentration.
In general, the interaction of gender
Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to femininity and masculinity and differentiating between them. Depending on the context, this may include sex-based social structures (i.e. gender roles) and gender identity. Most cultures ... with poverty or location tends to work to the disadvantage of girl
A girl is a young female human, usually a child or an adolescent. When a girl becomes an adult, she is accurately described as a ''woman''. However, the term ''girl'' is also used for other meanings, including ''young woman'',Dictionary. ...s in poorer countries with low completion rates and social expectations that they marry early, and to the disadvantage of boy
A boy is a young male human. The term is commonly used for a child or an adolescent. When a male human reaches adulthood, he is described as a man.
Definition, etymology, and use
According to the ''Merriam-Webster Dictionary'', a boy is " ...s in richer countries with high completion rates but social expectations that they enter the labour force
The workforce or labour force is a concept referring to the pool of human beings either in employment or in unemployment. It is generally used to describe those working for a single company or industry, but can also apply to a geographic re ... early. At the primary education
Primary education or elementary education is typically the first stage of formal education, coming after preschool/ kindergarten and before secondary school. Primary education takes place in '' primary schools'', ''elementary schools'', or ... level, most countries with a completion rate below 60% exhibit gender disparity at girls' expense, particularly poor and rural girls. In Mauritania, the adjusted gender parity index is 0.86 on average, but only 0.63 for the poorest 20%, while there is parity among the richest 20%. In countries with completion rates between 60% and 80%, gender disparity is generally smaller, but disparity at the expense of poor girls is especially marked in Cameroon
Cameroon (; french: Cameroun, ff, Kamerun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in west- central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the ..., Nigeria
Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of G ... and Yemen. Exceptions in the opposite direction are observed in countries with pastoralist economies that rely on boys' labour, such as the Kingdom of Eswatini, Lesotho
Lesotho ( ), officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a country landlocked as an enclave in South Africa. It is situated in the Maloti Mountains and contains the highest mountains in Southern Africa. It has an area of over and has a population ... and Namibia
Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and ea ....
The geographic concentration of poverty is argued to be a factor in entrenching poverty. William J. Wilson's "concentration and isolation" hypothesis states that the economic difficulties of the very poorest African Americans are compounded by the fact that as the better-off African Americans move out, the poorest are more and more concentrated, having only other very poor people as neighbors. This concentration causes social isolation, Wilson suggests, because the very poor are now isolated from access to the job networks, role models, institutions, and other connections that might help them escape poverty.
Gentrification is the process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in urban politics and planning. Gentrification often increases the ... means converting an aging neighborhood into a more affluent one, as by remodeling homes. Landlords then increase rent on newly renovated real estate; the poor people cannot afford to pay high rent, and may need to leave their neighborhood to find affordable housing. The poor also get more access to income and services, while studies suggest poor residents living in gentrifying neighbourhoods are actually less likely to move than poor residents of non-gentrifying areas.
Poverty increases the risk of homelessness
Homelessness or houselessness – also known as a state of being unhoused or unsheltered – is the condition of lacking stable, safe, and adequate housing. People can be categorized as homeless if they are:
* living on the streets, also kn .... Slum-dwellers, who make up a third of the world's urban population, live in a poverty no better, if not worse, than rural people, who are the traditional focus of the poverty in the developing world
A developing country is a sovereign state with a lesser developed industrial base and a lower Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreem ..., according to a report by the United Nations.
There are over 100 million street children
Street children are poor or homeless children who live on the streets of a city, town, or village. Homeless youth are often called street kids or street child; the definition of street children is contested, but many practitioners and policyma ... worldwide. Most of the children living in institutions around the world have a surviving parent or close relative, and they most commonly entered orphanages because of poverty. It is speculated that, flush with money, for-profit orphanages are increasing and push for children to join even though demographic data show that even the poorest extended families usually take in children whose parents have died. [ Many child advocates maintain that this can harm children's development by separating them from their families and that it would be more effective and cheaper to aid close relatives who want to take in the orphans.] [
Water and sanitation
As of 2012, 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation services and 15% practice
Open defecation is the human practice of defecating outdoors ("in the open") rather than into a toilet. People may choose fields, bushes, forests, ditches, streets, canals, or other open spaces for defecation. They do so either because they d .... The most noteworthy example is Bangladesh, which had half the GDP per capita of India but has a lower mortality from diarrhea than India or the world average, with diarrhea deaths declining by 90% since the 1990s. Even while providing latrines is a challenge, people still do not use them even when available. By strategically providing pit latrines to the poorest, charities in Bangladesh sparked a cultural change as those better off perceived it as an issue of status to not use one. The vast majority of the latrines built were then not from charities but by villagers themselves.
Water utility subsidies tend to subsidize water consumption by those connected to the supply grid, which is typically skewed towards the richer and urban segment of the population and those outside informal housing. As a result of heavy consumption subsidies, the price of water decreases to the extent that only 30%, on average, of the supplying costs in developing countries is covered.
This results in a lack of incentive to maintain delivery systems, leading to losses from leaks annually that are enough for 200 million people. [
This also leads to a lack of incentive to invest in expanding the network, resulting in much of the poor population being unconnected to the network. Instead, the poor buy water from water vendors for, on average, about 5 to 16 times the metered price.] [ However, subsidies for laying new connections to the network rather than for consumption have shown more promise for the poor.] [
Prejudice and exploitation
Cultural factors, such as discrimination of various kinds, can negatively affect productivity such as age discrimination,
In social psychology, a stereotype is a generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group. The type of expectation can vary; it can be, for example ..., discrimination against people with physical disability, [Filmer, D. (2008), "Disability, poverty, and schooling in developing countries: results from 14 household surveys", ''The World Bank Economic Review'', 22(1), pp. 141–163
* Yeo, R. (2005)] gender discrimination,
Disability, poverty and the new development agenda
, Disability Knowledge and Research, UK Government, pp. 1–33
Racial discrimination is any discrimination against any individual on the basis of their skin color, race or ethnic origin.Individuals can discriminate by refusing to do business with, socialize with, or share resources with people of a certain ..., and caste discrimination. Children
A child ( : children) is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty, or between the developmental period of infancy and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger ... are more than twice as likely to live in poverty as adults. Women are the group suffering from the highest rate of poverty after children, in what is referred to as the feminization of poverty
Feminization of poverty refers to a trend of increasing inequality in living standards between men and women due to the widening gender gap in poverty. This phenomenon largely links to how women and children are disproportionately represented .... In addition, the fact that women are more likely to be caregivers, regardless of income level, to either the generations before or after them, exacerbates the burdens of their poverty. Those in poverty have increased chances of incurring a disability which leads to a cycle where disability and poverty
The world's poor are significantly more likely to have or incur a disability within their lifetime compared to more financially privileged populations. The rate of disability within impoverished nations is notably higher than that found in more d ... are mutually reinforcing.
Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German sociologist, historian, jurist and political economist, who is regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of modern Western society. His ideas pr ... and some schools of modernization theory
Modernization theory is used to explain the process of modernization within societies. The "classical" theories of modernization of the 1950s and 1960s drew on sociological analyses of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and a partial reading of Max Weber ... suggest that cultural values
In ethics and social sciences, value denotes the degree of importance of something or action, with the aim of determining which actions are best to do or what way is best to live ( normative ethics in ethics), or to describe the significance of d ... could affect economic success. However, researchers have gathered evidence that suggest that values are not as deeply ingrained and that changing economic opportunities explain most of the movement into and out of poverty, as opposed to shifts in values. [Kerbo, Harold. 2006. ''Social Stratification and Inequality: Class Conflict in Historical, Comparative, and Global Perspective'', 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.] A 2018 report on poverty in the United States by UN special rapporteur Philip Alston asserts that caricatured narratives about the rich and the poor (that "the rich are industrious, entrepreneurial, patriotic and the drivers of economic success" while "the poor are wasters, losers and scammers") are largely inaccurate, as "the poor are overwhelmingly those born into poverty, or those thrust there by circumstances largely beyond their control, such as physical or mental disabilities, divorce, family breakdown, illness, old age, unlivable wages or discrimination in the job market." Societal perception of people experiencing economic difficulty has historically appeared as a conceptual dichotomy: the "good" poor (people who are physically impaired, disabled, the "ill and incurable," the elderly, pregnant women, children) vs. the "bad" poor (able-bodied, "valid" adults, most often male).
According to experts, many women become victims of trafficking, the most common form of which is prostitution
Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. The definition of "sexual activity" varies, and is often defined as an activity requiring physical contact (e.g., sexual intercourse, non-pen ..., as a means of survival and economic desperation. Deterioration of living conditions can often compel children to abandon school to contribute to the family income, putting them at risk of being exploited. For example, in Zimbabwe, a number of girls are turning to sex in return for food to survive because of the increasing poverty. According to studies, as poverty decreases there will be fewer and fewer instances of violence.
Various poverty reduction strategies are broadly categorized based on whether they make more of the basic human needs available or whether they increase the
Disposable income is total personal income minus current income taxes. In national accounts definitions, personal income minus personal current taxes equals disposable personal income. Subtracting personal outlays (which includes the major c ... needed to purchase those needs. Some strategies such as building roads can both bring access to various basic needs, such as fertilizer or healthcare from urban areas, as well as increase incomes, by bringing better access to urban markets.
In 2015 all UN Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked objectives designed to serve as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future".United Nations (2017) R ... as part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Goal 1 is to "end poverty in all its forms everywhere". It aims to eliminate extreme poverty for all people measured by daily wages less than $1.25 and at least half the total number of men, women, and children living in poverty. In addition, social protection systems must be established at the national level and equal access to economic resources must be ensured. Strategies have to be developed at the national, regional and international levels to support the eradication of poverty.
Increasing the supply of basic needs
Food and other goods
Agricultural technologies such as
A fertilizer (American English) or fertiliser (British English; see spelling differences) is any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soil or to plant tissues to supply plant nutrients. Fertilizers may be distinct from ...s, pesticides, new seed varieties and new irrigation methods have dramatically reduced food shortages in modern times by boosting yields past previous constraints. Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked objectives designed to serve as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future".United Nations (2017) R ... is the elimination of hunger and undernutrition by 2030.
Before the Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ..., poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as economies produced little, making wealth scarce. Geoffrey Parker wrote that "In Antwerp
Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ; es, Amberes) is the largest city in Belgium by area at and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 520,504, and Lyon, two of the largest cities in western Europe, by 1600 three-quarters of the total population were too poor to pay taxes, and therefore likely to need relief in times of crisis." The initial industrial revolution led to high economic growth and eliminated mass absolute poverty in what is now considered the developed world. [Great Depression]
, Encyclopædia Britannica
Mass production, also known as flow production or continuous production, is the production of substantial amounts of standardized products in a constant flow, including and especially on assembly lines. Together with job production and ba ... of goods in places such as rapidly industrializing China has made what were once considered luxuries, such as vehicles and computers, inexpensive and thus accessible to many who were otherwise too poor to afford them.
Even with new products, such as better seeds, or greater volumes of them, such as industrial production, the poor still require access to these products. Improving road and transportation infrastructure helps solve this major bottleneck. In Africa, it costs more to move fertilizer from an African seaport inland than to ship it from the United States to Africa because of sparse, low-quality roads, leading to fertilizer costs two to six times the world average. Microfranchising models such as door-to-door distributors who earn commission-based income or Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company. Originally marketed as a temperance drink and intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Stith Pemberton in Atlant ...'s successful distribution system are used to disseminate basic needs to remote areas for below market prices.
Health care and education
Nations do not necessarily need wealth to gain health.
For example, Sri Lanka had a maternal mortality rate
Maternal death or maternal mortality is defined in slightly different ways by several different health organizations. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines maternal death as the death of a pregnant mother due to complications related to pre ... of 2% in the 1930s, higher than any nation today. It reduced it to 0.5–0.6% in the 1950s and to 0.6% today while spending less each year on maternal health
Maternal health is the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. In most cases, maternal health encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning, preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care in order to ... because it learned what worked and what did not. [ Knowledge on the cost effectiveness of healthcare interventions can be elusive and educational measures have been made to disseminate what works, such as the Copenhagen Consensus. Cheap ] water filter
A water filter removes impurities by lowering contamination of water using a fine physical barrier, a chemical process, or a biological process. Filters cleanse water to different extents, for purposes such as: providing agricultural irrigation ...s and promoting hand washing are some of the most cost effective health interventions and can cut deaths
Death is the irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain an organism. For organisms with a brain, death can also be defined as the irreversible cessation of functioning of the whole brain, including brainstem, and brain ... from diarrhea
Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin ... and pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the small air sacs known as alveoli. Symptoms typically include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. The seve ....
Strategies to provide education cost effectively include deworming
Deworming (sometimes known as worming, drenching or dehelmintization) is the giving of an anthelmintic drug (a wormer, dewormer, or drench) to a human or animals to rid them of helminths parasites, such as roundworm, flukes and tapeworm. Purg ... children, which costs about 50 cents per child per year and reduces non-attendance from anemia
Anemia or anaemia (British English) is a blood disorder in which the blood has a reduced ability to carry oxygen due to a lower than normal number of red blood cells, or a reduction in the amount of hemoglobin. When anemia comes on slowly, t ..., illness and malnutrition, while being only a twenty-fifth as expensive as increasing school attendance by constructing schools. Schoolgirl absenteeism could be cut in half by simply providing free sanitary towels. Fortification
A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin ''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ... with micronutrient
Micronutrients are essential dietary elements required by organisms in varying quantities throughout life to orchestrate a range of physiological functions to maintain health. Micronutrient requirements differ between organisms; for example, huma ...s was ranked the most cost effective aid strategy by the Copenhagen Consensus. For example, iodised salt
Iodised salt ( also spelled iodized salt) is table salt mixed with a minute amount of various salts of the element iodine. The ingestion of iodine prevents iodine deficiency. Worldwide, iodine deficiency affects about two billion people and is ... costs 2 to 3 cents per person a year while even moderate iodine deficiency
Iodine deficiency is a lack of the trace element iodine, an essential nutrient in the diet. It may result in metabolic problems such as goiter, sometimes as an endemic goiter as well as congenital iodine deficiency syndrome due to untreated ... in pregnancy shaves off 10 to 15 IQ points. Paying for school meals is argued to be an efficient strategy in increasing school enrollment, reducing absenteeism and increasing student attention.
Desirable actions such as enrolling children in school or receiving vaccinations can be encouraged by a form of aid known as conditional cash transfers. In Mexico, for example, dropout rates of 16- to 19-year-olds in rural area dropped by 20% and children gained half an inch in height. Initial fears that the program would encourage families to stay at home rather than work to collect benefits have proven to be unfounded. Instead, there is less excuse for neglectful behavior as, for example, children stopped begging on the streets instead of going to school because it could result in suspension from the program. [
right to housing
The right to housing (occasionally right to shelter) is the economic, social and cultural right to adequate housing and shelter. It is recognized in some national constitutions and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International ... is a human right
Human rights are moral principles or normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for certain standards of hu .... Policy incentives such as Housing First
Housing First is a policy that offers unconditional, permanent housing as quickly as possible to homeless people, and other supportive services afterward. It was first discussed in the 1990s, and in the following decades became government policy ... emphasize that other basic needs are easier to be met when housing is first guaranteed.
Removing constraints on government services
Government revenue can be diverted away from basic services by corruption.
Funds from aid and natural resources are often sent by government individuals for money laundering
Money laundering is the process of concealing the origin of money, obtained from illicit activities such as drug trafficking, corruption, embezzlement or gambling, by converting it into a legitimate source. It is a crime in many jurisdict ... to overseas banks which insist on bank secrecy
Banking secrecy, alternately known as financial privacy, banking discretion, or bank safety,Guex (2000), p. 240 is a conditional agreement between a bank and its clients that all foregoing activities remain secure, confidential, and private. M ..., instead of spending on the poor. A Global Witness report asked for more action from Western banks as they have proved capable of stanching the flow of funds linked to terrorism. [
Illicit capital flight, such as corporate ] tax avoidance
Tax avoidance is the legal usage of the tax regime in a single territory to one's own advantage to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. A tax shelter is one type of tax avoidance, and tax havens are jurisd ..., from the developing world is estimated at ten times the size of aid it receives and twice the debt service it pays, with one estimate that most of Africa would be developed if the taxes owed were paid. About 60 per cent of illicit capital flight from Africa is from transfer mispricing
Transfer mispricing, also known as transfer pricing manipulation or fraudulent transfer pricing, refers to trade between related parties at prices meant to manipulate markets or to deceive tax authorities. The legality of the process varies b ..., where a subsidiary in a developing nation sells to another subsidiary or shell company
A shell corporation is a company or corporation that exists only on paper and has no office and no employees, but may have a bank account or may hold passive investments or be the registered owner of assets, such as intellectual property, or s ... in a tax haven
A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regional, local, ... at an artificially low price to pay less tax. An African Union
The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. The AU was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya, on 9 September 1999, calling for the establishment of the Afric ... report estimates that about 30% of sub-Saharan Africa's GDP has been moved to tax havens. Solutions include corporate "country-by-country reporting" where corporations disclose activities in each country and thereby prohibit the use of tax havens where no effective economic activity occurs. [
Developing countries' debt service to banks and governments from richer countries can constrain government spending on the poor. For example, ] Zambia
Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa, although it is typically referred to as being in Southern Africa at its most central point. Its neighbours are th ... spent 40% of its total budget to repay foreign debt, and only 7% for basic state services in 1997. One of the proposed ways to help poor countries has been debt relief Debt relief or debt cancellation is the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth, owed by individuals, corporations, or nations.
From antiquity through the 19th century, it refers to domestic debts, in particu .... Zambia began offering services, such as free health care even while overwhelming the health care infrastructure, because of savings that resulted from a 2005 round of debt relief. Since that round of debt relief, private creditors accounted for an increasing share of poor countries' debt service obligations. This complicated efforts to renegotiate easier terms for borrowers during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identifie ... because the multiple private creditors involved say they have a fiduciary obligation to their clients such as the pension funds.
The World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ... and the International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster glo ..., as primary holders of developing countries' debt, attach structural adjustment conditionalities in return for loans which are generally geared toward loan repayment with austerity
Austerity is a set of political-economic policies that aim to reduce government budget deficits through spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both. There are three primary types of austerity measures: higher taxes to fund spend ... measures such as the elimination of state subsidies and the privatization of state services. For example, the World Bank presses poor nations to eliminate subsidies for fertilizer even while many farmers cannot afford them at market prices. In Malawi
Malawi (; or aláwi Tumbuka: ''Malaŵi''), officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northea ..., almost 5 million of its 13 million people used to need emergency food aid but after the government changed policy and subsidies for fertilizer and seed were introduced, farmers produced record-breaking corn harvests in 2006 and 2007 as Malawi became a major food exporter. [ A major proportion of aid from donor nations is tied, mandating that a receiving nation spend on products and expertise originating only from the donor country. US law requires ] food aid
In international relations, aid (also known as international aid, overseas aid, foreign aid, economic aid or foreign assistance) is – from the perspective of governments – a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another.
Ai ... be spent on buying food at home, instead of where the hungry live, and, as a result, half of what is spent is used on transport.
Distressed securities funds, also known as ''vulture funds'', buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply and then sue countries for the full value of the debt plus interest which can be ten or 100 times what they paid. They may pursue any companies which do business with their target country to force them to pay to the fund instead. [ Considerable resources are diverted on costly court cases. For example, a court in ] Jersey
Jersey ( , ; nrf, Jèrri, label=Jèrriais ), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (french: Bailliage de Jersey, links=no; Jèrriais: ), is an island country and self-governing Crown Dependency near the coast of north-west France. It is the la ... ordered the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC), colloquially "La RDC" ), informally Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly and also colloquially Zaire, is a country in ... to pay an American speculator $100 million in 2010. [ Now, the UK, ] Isle of Man
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in Europ ... and Jersey have banned such payments. [
Reversing brain drain
The loss of basic needs providers emigrating from impoverished countries has a damaging effect.
As of 2004, there were more Ethiopia-trained doctors living in Chicago than in Ethiopia. Proposals to mitigate the problem include compulsory government service for graduates of public medical and nursing schools [ and promoting ] medical tourism
Medical tourism refers to people traveling abroad to obtain medical treatment. In the past, this usually referred to those who traveled from less-developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for treatment unavailable a ... so that health care personnel have more incentive to practice in their home countries. It is very easy for Ugandan doctors to emigrate to other countries. It is seen that only 69% of the health care jobs were filled in Uganda. Other Ugandan doctors were seeking jobs in other countries leaving inadequate or less skilled doctors to stay in Uganda.
Poverty and lack of access to birth control can lead to population increases that put pressure on local economies and access to resources, amplifying other economic inequality and creating increase poverty.
[ Better education for both men and women, and more control of their lives, reduces population growth due to family planning.] [World Bank. 2001. ''Engendering Development – Through Gender Equality in Right, Resources and Voice.'' New York: Oxford University Press.] According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), those who receive better education can earn money for their lives, thereby strengthening economic security.
Increasing personal income
The following are strategies used or proposed to increase personal incomes among the poor. Raising farm incomes is described as the core of the antipoverty effort as three-quarters of the poor today are farmers.
Estimates show that growth in the agricultural productivity of small farmers is, on average, at least twice as effective in benefiting the poorest half of a country's population as growth generated in nonagricultural sectors.
A guaranteed minimum income ensures that every citizen will be able to purchase a desired level of basic needs. A basic income (or negative income tax) is a system of
Welfare, or commonly social welfare, is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refer specifical ..., that periodically provides each citizen, rich or poor, with a sum of money that is sufficient to live on. Studies of large cash-transfer programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi show that the programs can be effective in increasing consumption, schooling, and nutrition, whether they are tied to such conditions or not. Proponents argue that a basic income is more economically efficient than a minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can legally pay their employees—the price floor below which employees may not sell their labor. Most countries had introduced minimum wage legislation by the end of the 20th century. B ... and unemployment benefits, as the minimum wage effectively imposes a high marginal tax on employers, causing losses in efficiency. In 1968, Paul Samuelson
Paul Anthony Samuelson (May 15, 1915 – December 13, 2009) was an American economist who was the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. When awarding the prize in 1970, the Swedish Royal Academies stated that he " ..., John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908 – April 29, 2006), also known as Ken Galbraith, was a Canadian-American economist, diplomat, public official, and intellectual. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through ... and another 1,200 economists signed a document calling for the US Congress to introduce a system of income guarantees. Winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics
The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, officially the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel ( sv, Sveriges riksbanks pris i ekonomisk vetenskap till Alfred Nobels minne), is an economics award administered ..., with often diverse political convictions, who support a basic income include Herbert A. Simon, [ ] Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August von Hayek ( , ; 8 May 189923 March 1992), often referred to by his initials F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian–British economist, legal theorist and philosopher who is best known for his defense of classical liberalism. Hayek ..., Robert Solow
Robert Merton Solow, GCIH (; born August 23, 1924) is an American economist whose work on the theory of economic growth culminated in the exogenous growth model named after him. He is currently Emeritus Institute Professor of Economics at the ..., [ ] Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman (; July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist and statistician who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and t ..., Jan Tinbergen
Jan Tinbergen (; ; 12 April 19039 June 1994) was a Dutch economist who was awarded the first Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1969, which he shared with Ragnar Frisch for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis o ..., [ ] James Tobin
James Tobin (March 5, 1918 – March 11, 2002) was an American economist who served on the Council of Economic Advisers and consulted with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and taught at Harvard and Yale Universities. He devel ...
and James Meade.
Income grants are argued to be vastly more efficient in extending basic needs to the poor than subsidizing
A subsidy or government incentive is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector (business, or individual) generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy. Although commonly extended from the government, the ter ... supplies whose effectiveness in poverty alleviation is diluted by the non-poor who enjoy the same subsidized prices. With cars and other appliances, the wealthiest 20% of Egypt uses about 93% of the country's fuel subsidies. [ In some countries, fuel subsidies are a larger part of the budget than health and education.] A 2008 study concluded that the money spent on in-kind transfers in India in a year could lift all India's poor out of poverty for that year if transferred directly. The primary obstacle argued against direct cash transfers is the impractically for poor countries of such large and direct transfers. In practice, payments determined by complex iris scanning are used by war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC), colloquially "La RDC" ), informally Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly and also colloquially Zaire, is a country in ... and Afghanistan, while India is phasing out its fuel subsidies in favor of direct transfers. Additionally, in aid models, the famine relief model increasingly used by aid groups calls for giving cash or cash vouchers to the hungry to pay local farmers instead of buying food from donor countries, often required by law, as it wastes money on transport costs.
Corruption often leads to many
The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leader ...s being treated by governments as employment agencies to loyal supporters and so it could mean going through 20 procedures, paying $2,696 in fees, and waiting 82 business days to start a business in Bolivia
, image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg
, flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center
, flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ..., while in Canada
Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by total ... it takes two days, two registration procedures, and $280 to do the same. Such costly barriers favor big firms at the expense of small enterprises, where most jobs are created. Often, businesses have to bribe government officials even for routine activities, which is, in effect, a tax on business. [Krugman, Paul, and Robin Wells. ''Macroeconomics''. 2. New York City: Worth Publishers, 2009. Print.] Noted reductions in poverty in recent decades has occurred in China and India mostly as a result of the abandonment of collective farming
Collective farming and communal farming are various types of, "agricultural production in which multiple farmers run their holdings as a joint enterprise". There are two broad types of communal farms: agricultural cooperatives, in which member- ... in China and the ending of the central planning
A planned economy is a type of economic system where investment, production and the allocation of capital goods takes place according to economy-wide economic plans and production plans. A planned economy may use centralized, decentralized, p ... model known as the License Raj
The Licence Raj or Permit Raj (''rāj'', meaning "rule" in Hindi) was the system of licences, regulations, and accompanying red tape, that hindered the set up and running of businesses in India between 1947 and 1990. Up to 80 government agencie ... in India.
The World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ... concludes that governments and feudal elites extending to the poor the right to the land that they live and use are 'the key to reducing poverty' citing that land rights greatly increase poor people's wealth, in some cases doubling it. Although approaches varied, the World Bank said the key issues were security of tenure and ensuring land transactions costs were low. [
Greater access to markets brings more income to the poor. Road infrastructure has a direct impact on poverty.] Additionally, migration from poorer countries resulted in $328 billion sent from richer to poorer countries in 2010, more than double the $120 billion in official aid flows from OECD
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate ... members. In 2011, India got $52 billion from its diaspora
A diaspora ( ) is a population that is scattered across regions which are separate from its geographic place of origin. Historically, the word was used first in reference to the dispersion of Greeks in the Hellenic world, and later Jews afte ..., more than it took in foreign direct investment
A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. It is thus distinguished from a foreign portfolio investment by a notion of direct c ....
Microloans, made famous by the
Grameen Bank ( bn, গ্রামীণ ব্যাংক) is a microfinance organisation and community development bank founded in Bangladesh. It makes small loans (known as microcredit or "grameencredit") to the impoverished without requi ..., is where small amounts of money are loaned to farmers or villages, mostly women, who can then obtain physical capital to increase their economic rewards. However, microlending has been criticized for making hyperprofits off the poor even from its founder, Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus (born 28 June 1940) is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance ..., and in India, Arundhati Roy
Suzanna Arundhati Roy (born 24 November 1961) is an Indian author best known for her novel '' The God of Small Things'' (1997), which won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 and became the best-selling book by a non-expatriate Indian author. ... asserts that some 250,000 debt-ridden farmers have been driven to suicide.
Those in poverty place overwhelming importance on having a safe place to save money, much more so than receiving loans. Additionally, a large part of microfinance
Microfinance is a category of financial services targeting individuals and small businesses who lack access to conventional banking and related services. Microfinance includes microcredit, the provision of small loans to poor clients; saving ... loans are spent not on investments but on products that would usually be paid by a checking or savings account
A savings account is a bank account at a retail bank. Common features include a limited number of withdrawals, a lack of cheque and linked debit card facilities, limited transfer options and the inability to be overdrawn. Traditionally, trans .... [ Microsavings are designs to make savings products available for the poor, who make small deposits. ] Mobile banking
Mobile banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution that allows its customers to conduct financial transactions remotely using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Unlike the related internet banking it uses ... uses the wide availability of mobile phones to address the problem of the heavy regulation and costly maintenance of saving accounts. [ This usually involves a network of agents of mostly shopkeepers, instead of bank branches, would take deposits in cash and translate these onto a virtual account on customers' phones. Cash transfers can be done between phones and issued back in cash with a small commission, making ] remittance
A remittance is a non-commercial transfer of money by a foreign worker, a member of a diaspora community, or a citizen with familial ties abroad, for household income in their home country or homeland. Money sent home by migrants competes w ...s safer.
Reversing wealth concentration
Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International.
Founded at 17 Broad Street, Oxford, as the Oxford Co ..., among others, has called for an international movement to end extreme wealth concentration arguing that the concentration of resources in the hands of the top 1% depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else—particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder. And they say that the gains of the world's billionaires in 2017, which amounted to $762 billion, were enough to end extreme global poverty seven times over.
The cause of poverty is a highly ideologically charged subject, as different causes point to different remedies. Very broadly speaking, the
Socialism is a left-wing economic philosophy and movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to private ownership. As a term, it describes t ... tradition locates the roots of poverty in problems of distribution and the use of the means of production
The means of production is a term which describes land, labor and capital that can be used to produce products (such as goods or services); however, the term can also refer to anything that is used to produce products. It can also be used as an ... as capital benefiting individuals, and calls for redistribution of wealth
Redistribution of income and wealth is the transfer of income and wealth (including physical property) from some individuals to others through a social mechanism such as taxation, welfare, public services, land reform, monetary policies, confis ... as the solution, whereas the neoliberal
Neoliberalism (also neo-liberalism) is a term used to signify the late 20th century political reappearance of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism after it fell into decline following the Second World War. A prominent f ... school of thought holds that creating conditions for profitable private investment is the solution. Neoliberal think tank
A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Most think tanks are non-governmental ...s have received extensive funding, and the ability to apply many of their ideas in highly indebted countries in the global South
The concept of Global North and Global South (or North–South divide in a global context) is used to describe a grouping of countries along socio-economic and political characteristics. The Global South is a term often used to identify regi ... as a condition for receiving emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster glo ....
The existence of inequality is in part due to a set of self-reinforcing behaviors that all together constitute one aspect of the cycle of poverty
In economics, a cycle of poverty or poverty trap is caused by self-reinforcing mechanisms that cause poverty, once it exists, to persist unless there is outside intervention. It can persist across generations, and when applied to developing count .... These behaviors, in addition to unfavorable, external circumstances, also explain the existence of the Matthew effect
The Matthew effect of accumulated advantage, Matthew principle, or Matthew effect, is the tendency of individuals to accrue social or economic success in proportion to their initial level of popularity, friends, wealth, etc. It is sometimes summar ..., which not only exacerbates existing inequality, but is more likely to make it multigenerational. Widespread, multigenerational poverty is an important contributor to civil unrest and political instability. For example, Raghuram G. Rajan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India
The Reserve Bank of India, chiefly known as RBI, is India's central bank and regulatory body responsible for regulation of the Indian banking system. It is under the ownership of Ministry of Finance, Government of India. It is responsibl ... and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, has blamed the ever-widening gulf between the rich and the poor, especially in the US, to be one of the main fault lines which caused the financial institutions to pump money into subprime mortgages—on political behest, as a palliative and not a remedy, for poverty—causing the financial crisis of 2007–2009. In Rajan's view the main cause of the increasing gap between high income and low income earners was lack of equal access to higher education for the latter.
A data based scientific empirical research
Empirical research is research using empirical evidence. It is also a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empiricism values some research more than other kinds. Empirical evidence (the record of o ..., which studied the impact of dynastic politics on the level of poverty of the provinces, found a positive correlation between dynastic politics and poverty; i.e. the higher proportion of dynastic politicians in power in a province leads to higher poverty rate. There is significant evidence that these political dynasties use their political dominance over their respective regions to enrich themselves, using methods such as graft or outright bribery of legislators.
Many scholars and public intellectuals argue that, throughout most of human history, extreme poverty was the norm for roughly 90% of the population, with only the emergence of industrial capitalism in the 19th century lifting masses of people out of it. This narrative is advanced by, among others, Martin Ravallion, Nicholas Kristof, and Steven Pinker
Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, psycholinguist, popular science author, and public intellectual. He is an advocate of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
.... Some academics including Dylan Sullivan and Jason Hickel have challenged this contemporary mainstream narrative on poverty, arguing that extreme poverty was not the norm throughout human history, but emerged during "periods of severe social and economic dislocation," including high European feudalism and the apex of the Roman Empire, and that it expanded significantly after 1500 with the emergence of colonialism and the beginnings of capitalism, stating that "the expansion of the capitalist world-system caused a dramatic and prolonged process of impoverishment on a scale unparalleled in recorded history." Sullivan and Hickel assert that only with the rise of anti-colonial and socialist political movements in the 20th century did human welfare begin to see significant improvement. [
Important studies such as the Brundtland Report concluded that poverty causes environmental degradation, while other theories like environmentalism of the poor conclude that the global poor may be the most important force for sustainability. Either way, the poor suffer most from environmental degradation caused by reckless
exploitation of natural resources
The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural resources for economic growth, sometimes with a negative connotation of accompanying environmental degradation. It started to emerge on an industrial scale in the 19th century as the ... by the rich. This unfair distribution of environmental burdens and benefits has generated the global environmental justice
Environmental justice is a social movement to address the unfair exposure of poor and marginalized communities to harms from hazardous waste, resource extraction, and other land uses.Schlosberg, David. (2007) ''Defining Environmental Justice: ... movement.
A report published in 2013 by the World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ..., with support from the Climate & Development Knowledge Network, found that climate change was likely to hinder future attempts to reduce poverty. The report presented the likely impacts of present day, 2 °C and 4 °C warming on agricultural production, water resources, coastal ecosystems and cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. The impacts of a temperature rise of 2 °C included: regular food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa; shifting rain patterns in South Asia leaving some parts under water and others without enough water for power generation, irrigation or drinking; degradation and loss of reefs in South East Asia, resulting in reduced fish stocks; and coastal communities and cities more vulnerable to increasingly violent storms. In 2016, a UN report claimed that by 2030, an additional 122 million more people could be driven to extreme poverty because of climate change.
Global warming can also lead to a deficiency in water availability; with higher temperatures and CO2 levels, plants consume more water leaving less for people. By consequence, water in rivers and streams will decline in the mid-altitude regions like Central Asia, Europe and North America. And if CO2 levels continue to rise, or even remain the same, droughts will be happening much faster and will be lasting longer. According to a 2016 study led by Professor of Water Management, Arjen Hoekstra, four billion people are affected by water scarcity at least one month per year.
Among some individuals, poverty is considered a necessary or desirable condition, which must be embraced to reach certain spiritual, moral, or intellectual states. Poverty is often understood to be an essential element of
Renunciation (or renouncing) is the act of rejecting something, especially if it is something that the renunciant has previously enjoyed or endorsed.
In religion, renunciation often indicates an abandonment of pursuit of material comforts, in t ... in religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism
Hinduism () is an Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion followers, or 15–16% of the global po ... (only for monks, not for lay persons) and Jainism
Jainism ( ), also known as Jain Dharma, is an Indian religion. Jainism traces its spiritual ideas and history through the succession of twenty-four tirthankaras (supreme preachers of ''Dharma''), with the first in the current time cycle being ..., whilst in Christianity, in particular Roman Catholicism, it is one of the evangelical counsels. The main aim of giving up things of the materialistic world is to withdraw oneself from sensual pleasures (as they are considered illusionary and only temporary in some religions—such as the concept of dunya
In Islam, ' ( ar, دُنْيا ) refers to the temporal world and its earthly concerns and possessions, as opposed to the hereafter ('' ʾākhirah''). In the Qur'an, ''dunyā'' and ''ākhira'' are sometimes used dichotomously, other times complem ... in Islam). This self-invited poverty (or giving up pleasures) is different from the one caused by economic imbalance.
Some Christian communities, such as the Simple Way, the Bruderhof, and the Amish
The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: link=no, Amische), formally the Old Order Amish, are a group of traditionalist Anabaptist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian origins. They are closely related to Mennonite churc ... value voluntary poverty; some even take a vow of poverty, similar to that of the traditional Catholic orders, in order to live a more complete life of discipleship.
Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: link=no, Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate of the Catholic church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereig ... distinguished "poverty ''chosen''" (the poverty of spirit proposed by Jesus), and "poverty ''to be fought''" (unjust and imposed poverty). He considered that the moderation implied in the former favors solidarity, and is a necessary condition so as to fight effectively to eradicate the abuse of the latter.
As it was indicated above the reduction of poverty results from religion, but also can result from solidarity
''Solidarity'' is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes. It is based on class collaboration.''Merriam Webster'', http://www.merriam-webster.com/dicti ....
Charts and tables
* Accumulation by dispossession
Aporophobia (from the Spanish ''aporofobia'', and this from the Ancient Greek ἄπορος (''áporos''), 'without resources, indigent, poor,' and φόβος (''phobos''), 'hatred' or 'aversion') are negative attitudes and feelings towards pover ...
* Bottom of the pyramid
* Environmental racism
* Food bank
A food bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that distributes food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough to avoid hunger, usually through intermediaries like food pantries and soup kitchens. Some food banks distribute food dire ...
* Income disparity
* International development
International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of economic or human development on an international scale. It is the basis for international classification ...
* International inequality
* Involuntary unemployment
Involuntary unemployment occurs when a person is unemployed despite being willing to work at the prevailing wage. It is distinguished from voluntary unemployment, where a person refuses to work because their reservation wage is higher than the pre ...
* Juvenilization of poverty
* List of countries by percentage of population living in poverty
* Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were eight international development goals for the year 2015 that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Mille ...
* Poverty trap
In economics, a cycle of poverty or poverty trap is caused by self-reinforcing mechanisms that cause poverty, once it exists, to persist unless there is outside intervention. It can persist across generations, and when applied to developing count ...
* Redistribution of income and wealth
Redistribution of income and wealth is the transfer of income and wealth (including physical property) from some individuals to others through a social mechanism such as taxation, welfare, public services, land reform, monetary policies, confi ...
* Social programs
* Social safety net
* United Nations Millennium Declaration
* World Poverty Clock
* Allen, Robert C. 2020.
Poverty and the Labor Market: Today and Yesterday.
" Annual Review of Economomics.
* Atkinson, Anthony. ''Poverty in Europe'' 1998
* Banerjee, Abhijit & Esther Duflo, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty (New York: PublicAffairs, 2011)
* Bergmann, Barbara
"Deciding Who's Poor"
Dollars & Sense
''Dollars & Sense'' is a magazine focusing on economics from a progressive perspective, published by Dollars & Sense, Inc, which also publishes textbooks in the same genre.
''Dollars & Sense'' describes itself as publishing "economic news and ana ..., March/April 2000
* Betson, David M. & Warlick, Jennifer L. "Alternative Historical Trends in Poverty." ''American Economic Review'' 88:348–51. 1998.
* Brady, David "Rethinking the Sociological Measurement of Poverty" ''Social Forces'' 81#3 2003, pp. 715–751 Online in Project Muse.
* Buhmann, Brigitte, et al. 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates Across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database." Review of Income and Wealth 34:115–142.
* Danziger, Sheldon H. & Weinberg, Daniel H. "The Historical Record: Trends in Family Income, Inequality, and Poverty." pp. 18–50 in ''Confronting Poverty: Prescriptions for Change,'' edited by Sheldon H. Danziger, Gary D. Sandefur, and Daniel. H. Weinberg. Russell Sage Foundation. 1994.
* Firebaugh, Glenn. "Empirics of World Income Inequality." ''American Journal of Sociology'' (2000) 104:1597–1630. in JSTOR
* Gans, Herbert J.
"The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All"
, Social Policy, July/August 1971: pp. 20–24
* Gordon, David M. ''Theories of Poverty and Underemployment: Orthodox, Radical, and Dual Labor Market Perspectives.'' 1972.
* Haveman, Robert H. ''Poverty Policy and Poverty Research.''
University of Wisconsin Press
The University of Wisconsin Press (sometimes abbreviated as UW Press) is a non-profit university press publishing peer-reviewed books and journals. It publishes work by scholars from the global academic community; works of fiction, memoir and ... 1987
* Haymes, Stephen, Maria Vidal de Haymes and Reuben Miller (eds).
The Routledge Handbook of Poverty in the United States
Routledge () is a British multinational publisher. It was founded in 1836 by George Routledge, and specialises in providing academic books, journals and online resources in the fields of the humanities, behavioural science, education, law, ..., 2015. .
* Iceland, John ''Poverty in America: a handbook'' University of California Press, 2003
* McEwan, Joanne, and Pamela Sharpe, eds. ''Accommodating Poverty: The Housing and Living Arrangements of the English Poor, c. 1600–1850'' (Palgrave Macmillan; 2010) 292 pages; scholarly studies of rural and urban poor, as well as vagrants, unmarried mothers, and almshouse dwellers.
* Paugam, Serge. "Poverty and Social Exclusion: a sociological view." pp. 41–62 in ''The Future of European Welfare'', edited by Martin Rhodes and Yves Meny, 1998.
* Prashad, Vijay. ''The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South.'' Verso Books
Verso Books (formerly New Left Books) is a left-wing publishing house based in London and New York City, founded in 1970 by the staff of '' New Left Review''.
Renaming, new brand and logo
Verso Books was originally known as New Left Books. Th ..., June 2014.
* Pressman, Steven, ''Poverty in America: an annotated bibliography.'' Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1994
* Robinson, Marilynne, "Is Poverty Necessary? An idea that won't go away", '' Harper's Magazine
''Harper's Magazine'' is a monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts. Launched in New York City in June 1850, it is the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the U.S. (''Scientific American'' is older, b ...'', vol. 338, no. 2029 (June 2019), pp. 25–33. "To bring up the subject of providing a better life is to lean too far left, to flirt with socialism.... 'Why... do wages tend to a minimum which will give but a bare living?' A short answer would be: because they can.... Insofar as the public is barred from taking a central role in society, we lose wisdom to stealth, stupidity, parochialism."
* Rothman, David J., (editor). ''The Almshouse Experience'' (Poverty U.S.A.: the Historical Record). New York: Arno Press, 1971. Reprint of Report of the committee appointed by the Board of Guardians of the Poor of the City and Districts of Philadelphia to visit the cities of Baltimore, New York, Providence, Boston, and Salem (published in Philadelphia, 1827); Report of the Massachusetts General Court's Committee on Pauper Laws (published in oston? 1821); and the 1824 Report of the New York Secretary of State on the relief and settlement of the poor (from the 24th annual report of the New York State Board of Charities, 1901).
* Roy, Arundhati, ''Capitalism: A Ghost Story'', Haymarket Books, 2014, .
* Sen, Amartya, ''Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation'', Oxford, Clarendon Press
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print book ..., 1981.
* Sen, Amartya, ''Development as Freedom'', New York, Knopf, 1999.
* Smeeding, Timothy M., O'Higgins, Michael & Rainwater, Lee. ''Poverty, Inequality and Income Distribution in Comparative Perspective.'' Urban Institute Press 1990.
* Smith, Stephen C., ''Ending Global Poverty: a guide to what works'', New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005
* Wilson, Richard & Pickett, Kate. ''The Spirit Level'', London: Allen Lane, 2009
World Bank: "Can South Asia End Poverty in a Generation?"
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Inter ...,
World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work For Poor People"
Addressing Global Poverty
Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
Data visualizations of the long-run development of poverty and list of data sources on poverty
on 'Our World in Data'.
Islamic Development Bank
Luxembourg Income Study
Contains a wealth of data on income inequality and poverty, and hundreds of its sponsored research papers using this data.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Contains reports on economic development as well as relations between rich and poor nations.
Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) Research to advance the human development approach to poverty reduction.
Tracks issues of government and corporate corruption around the world.
Hundreds of free reports related to economic development and standards of living in countries around the world, such as the annual ''Human Development Report.''
US Agency for International Development
USAID is the primary US government agency with the mission for aid to developing countries.
Contains hundreds of reports which can be downloaded for free, such as the annual ''World Development Report.''
World Food Program
Associated with the United Nations, the World Food Program compiles hundreds of reports on hunger and food security around the world.
Documentary films about poverty broadcast on television around the world in November 2012, then will be available online.
Annual income of richest 100 people enough to end global poverty four times over
Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International.
Founded at 17 Broad Street, Oxford, as the Oxford Co ...,'' 19 January 2013.
Contains estimates on the number of people living in poverty in selected countries from 1973 to 1985
Contains information on poverty in 1980
Contains estimates on trends in global extreme poverty since 1820
Contains estimates on global poverty in 1975
Summary of Human Development Report 2014
by the ''
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)french: Programme des Nations unies pour le développement, PNUD is a United Nations agency tasked with helping countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human d ...''
Making Poverty History
by Vijay Prashad for ''
, logo = JacobinVignette03.jpg
, logo_size = 180px
, logo_caption = Seal of the Jacobin Club (1792–1794)
, motto = "Live free or die"(french: Vivre libre ou mourir)
, successor = P ....'' 10 November 2014.