What Is The Poverty Definition_ - Meaning, Causes, And Ways To Eliminate It

What Is The Poverty Definition? – Meaning, Causes, And Ways To Eliminate It

Economy 5 Mins Read July 29, 2023 Posted by Soumava Goswami

Poverty is a state or a condition of a person or a community where there is a lack of financial resources and essentials for a minimum living standard. In this case, the person or the community cannot meet the basic human needs necessary to sustain life. However, how to look at poverty changes with the financial situation of the nation, based on which criteria changes.

In this article, you will get a general idea of poverty with a simple poverty definition. Next up, you will learn the major aspects of poverty, as well as the major reasons for the cause of poverty. Finally, we will discuss some of the best ways to get rid of poverty in society. Hence, to learn about the topic better, read on through to the end of the article.

What Is Poverty? – Poverty Definition

What Is Poverty_ - Poverty Definition

According to Investopedia,

?Poverty refers to the lack of adequate financial resources such that individuals, households, and entire communities don’t have the means to subsist or acquire the basic necessities for a flourishing life. This means being so poor as to struggle to obtain food, clothing, shelter, and medicines.?

People in poverty suffer from a social-economic condition where they lack the necessary financial resources and the minimum essentials necessary to sustain a minimum living standard. In such situations, the people or the community fail to meet basic human needs. These people do not have enough food (let alone healthy ones), proper housing, medical attention, and clear water.

However, the criteria of poverty change with location and the financial, economic, and social situation of a nation. Hence, each nation determines its own poverty line. This is because, let?s say, a particular amount of money might not be enough for necessary sustenance in a country, while it is possible to have minimum living standards in that amount in another country, since the cost of living is less in the latter.

Understanding The Major Aspects Of Poverty

Understanding The Major Aspects Of Poverty

You must understand here that poverty is not just the result of a lack of income, it is rather a result of a variety of socio-economic factors. Some of these factors include access to education, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, sexual orientation, and many more. It is not only about the financial condition of a person or a group.

It has been found that poverty is cyclical in nature, while in some cases, it is collective. According to Britannica.com,

?Cyclical poverty refers to poverty that may be widespread throughout a population, but the occurrence itself is of limited duration. In nonindustrial societies (present and past), this sort of inability to provide for one?s basic needs rests mainly upon temporary food shortages caused by natural phenomena or poor agricultural planning.?

In cyclical poverty, prices can rise because of a scarcity of food, which can bring widespread misery, but of a temporary nature. The business cycle is one of the major causes of cyclical poverty in industrialized societies. In such cases, society sees mass rates of unemployment during periods of depression and recession.

On the other hand, collective poverty refers to the one which seems permanent and fails to secure basic needs for the society at large. This leads to a generalization of poverty, where it is concentrated into a relatively large group. 

What Are The Major Causes Of Poverty?

What Are The Major Causes Of Poverty_

According to Investopedia, there can be a variety of causes for poverty ?

?Many people are born into poverty and have little hope of overcoming it. Others may fall into poverty because of negative economic conditions, natural disasters, or surging living costs, as well as drug addiction, depression, and mental health issues.?

Poverty is basically a cycle that is difficult to break and often passes from generation to generation like a curse. One can determine poverty based on a population?s location, socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and some other factors. 

Furthermore, there is also a lack of access to healthcare, minimum education, electricity, healthy food, clean water, and other essential services critical for leading a minimum standard of life.

There are some people who are able to move out of poverty with a bit of luck and hard work. However, the progress often turns out to be temporary in nature. Factors such as food insecurity, economic shocks, climate factors, and others can threaten the gains of such people and can force them back into poverty.

What Steps To Take To Reduce Poverty?

What Steps To Take To Reduce Poverty_

One of the major reasons for poverty is inequality and lack of equity. According to ConcernUSA.org,

?The systemic barriers that lead to groups of people going without representation in their communities leaves them further behind in terms of resources and opportunity. In order for a community, or even a country, to alleviate poverty, all groups and identities must be involved in creating solutions.?

The United Nations and the World Bank frequently advocate the reduction of poverty in various parts of the world. In fact, the World Bank ambitiously targeted to reduce global poverty to less than 3% by 2030. However, here are some of the steps governments can take to reduce poverty:

1. Reducing income inequality among certain groups in society.

2. Increasing the resilience of communities to prepare for unavoidable circumstances and food shortages. The government can install various programs in remote locations and in backward areas of the country.

3. Ensuring education in the backward areas of society helps a lot in eradicating poverty.

4. Eating at least three meals a day and getting a certain amount of calories can help in reducing poverty a lot. The government can take steps to provide free meals in public schools for the same.

Bottom Line

Hope you have found this article?s poverty definition helpful. Poverty is a major social problem that the world faced for millennia. The current situation is dire, where there is a huge disparity in the financial situation of people, where the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. 

The state is such that the people lack the minimum financial resources required to afford a minimum standard of living. Do you have any recommendations that will lessen the problems of the poor in the United States? Share your concerns and ideas in the comments section below.

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A passionate writer and an avid reader, Soumava is academically inclined and loves writing on topics requiring deep research. Having 3+ years of experience, Soumava also loves writing blogs in other domains, including digital marketing, business, technology, travel, and sports.

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