Definition, Types and Effects of Poverty

Definition, Types and Effects of Poverty

Definition of Poverty

Basically, poverty may be refers to lacking an adequate amount of resources to provide the necessities of life such as food, clean water, shelter and clothing. But in today’s world, that can be extended to include access to health care, education and even transportation.

    Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.

    This poverty definition encompasses living conditions, an inability to meet basic needs because food, clean drinking water, proper sanitation, education, health care and other social services are inaccessible.

    This poverty threshold starts with fear for the future and broadens to include dependence, oppression and even exploitation.

The word poverty provokes strong emotions and many questions. In the most, the official poverty thresholds are set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Persons with income less than that deemed sufficient to purchase basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and other essentials are designated as poor.

    In reality, the cost of living varies dramatically based on geography, we see poverty as a chronic and debilitating condition that results from multiple adverse synergistic risk factors and affects the mind, body, and soul.

Types of Poverty

However you define it, poverty is complex; it does not mean the same thing for all people. But for the purposes of this write, we can identify the following types of poverty:

Educational Poverty

Lack of education creates a lack of options. It makes finding future work difficult, and it makes children vulnerable to exploitation. An education offers the knowledge, skills, and training to create a better future. The chance to receive a quality education changes everything. An education offers hope of a life beyond poverty.

Health Poverty

Health poverty may sound weird and wonderful, but there are many people around the world who do not adequate health treatment as a result of lack of health facilities and personnel. Health poverty is major problem of underdeveloped countries.

Situational Poverty

This is generally caused as a result of a sudden crisis or loss and is often temporary. Events causing situational poverty include environmental disasters, divorce, or severe health problems.

Generational Poverty

This is situation where at least two generations have been born into poverty. Families living in this type of poverty are not equipped with the tools to move out of their situations.

Total Poverty

These involve scarcity of such necessities as shelter, running water, and food.  Families who live in absolute poverty tend to focus on everyday continued existence.

 Economic Poverty

Majority of the countries as well individual are suffering from economic poverty. This level of poverty is the equal of slavery. People or state needs an income level which allows them to purchase what they cannot make or grow.

Environmental Poverty

Physical surroundings such   climate, water supply, housing and land are affect our well-being, and the circumstances of absolute poverty include extreme environmental risk. From insect and water-borne illnesses to extreme weather conditions, such as drought and flooding, the spirits, hope and health of the poor are depressed by the environment they live in.

Spiritual Poverty

Without an understanding of God's love, it is difficult to resist despair. Children are particularly vulnerable to the emotional and spiritual messages of worthlessness and hopelessness poverty delivers. But their lives undergo a revolution when they realize God loves and values them. They understand they were placed on the earth with a divine purpose in mind.



Poverty involves a complex array of risk factors that adversely affect the population in a multitude of ways. The four primary risk factors afflicting families living in poverty are

·                  Emotional and social challenges.

·                  Acute and chronic stressors.

·                  Cognitive lags.

·                  Health and safety issues.

Poverty stretches across the globe affecting almost half of the world’s population. Its effects reach deeper. Uniquely connected to different causes, the effects of poverty are revolving one result leads to another source leads to another consequence. To fully understand the effects of poverty, the causes have to be rooted out to develop strategies to end hunger and starvation for good. Let’s discuss some of the top effects of poverty.

Someone does not know how damaging poverty is until they have personally felt its effects. Struggling to pay bills and provide enough food puts pressure on millions of families each year. It is a symptom that can be a direct result of the skyrocketing number of foreclosures and job layoffs. It could be a result of years of struggling to make an adequate income when illness strikes. No matter the circumstance, the lack of healthy food and proper nutrition can have lifelong impacts.

The Family

If a family struggles and there is not access to food, medicine, and other necessities during pregnancy, a fetus doesn’t thrive and could be born at a low birth weight. As a child grows into the infant stage, they may suffer from delayed growth and experience frequent sickness. Stunted physical and mental development may occur during the toddler years. School-aged children can face learning difficulties or may even find them unable to attend school. The effects of poverty can follow a child into adulthood, leading to chronic illness and lack of education or the ability to work.

Increase in Crime Rate

Lack of economic opportunity leads to penury which then leads to crime. World unemployment is at a high point. In some parts of the world, mainly poor parts, unemployment standings will drive this number higher. In a study done on youth in the some of the countries, it was determined that joblessness fueled criminal activity are cause by lack of employment in some part of the world. Because of the struggles in the state job market, the crime rate are higher any other region in the state.

Health, Illness, and Medical Care

The poor are also more likely to have many kinds of health problems, including infant mortality, earlier adulthood mortality, and mental illness, and they are also more likely to receive inadequate medical care. Poor children are more likely to have inadequate nutrition and, partly for this reason, to suffer health, behavioral, and cognitive problems. These problems in turn impair their ability to do well in school and land stable employment as adults, helping to ensure that poverty will persist across generations. Many poor people are uninsured or underinsured, at least until the US health-care reform legislation of 2010 takes full effect a few years from now, and many have to visit health clinics that are overcrowded and understaffed.

Housing and Homelessness

The poverty are, not surprisingly, more likely to be homeless than the non poor but also more likely to live in dilapidated housing and unable to buy their own homes. Many poor families spend more than half their income on rent, and they tend to live in poor neighborhoods that lack job opportunities, good schools, and other features of modern life that wealthier people take for granted. The lack of adequate housing for the poor remains a major national problem. Even worse is outright homelessness.

 Thanks for reading.

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