Poverty: Perfect Definition, Causes, Types and Ways to Remove it
What is Poverty?
“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”– Mahatma Gandhi
Poverty is more than just a lack of money. It is a lack of basic human needs such as food, shelter, clothing, education, and access to health care. People who are in poverty do not have the resources to provide for their basic needs, and this can lead to extreme hardship and suffering. Poverty is often caused by factors such as unemployment, low wages, and insufficient access to basic services. Poverty can be found in both developing and developed countries, and it can have a devastating impact on individuals and communities.
Types of Poverty
The main types of poverty are mentioned below:
Absolute poverty is defined as a state of being in which a person is unable to meet the basic needs of life, such as food, shelter, and clothing, due to lack of resources. This is the most extreme form of poverty and is usually measured in terms of income or consumption. In many countries, absolute poverty is a chronic issue, with individuals and families living in a state of poverty for long periods of time, despite government assistance programs and other social services.
Examples of absolute poverty include:
• Lack of access to clean water and sanitation
• Malnutrition, disease, and death due to inadequate food supply
• Lack of access to basic health care
• Extremely hazardous living conditions
• Lack of access to education, employment, and other opportunities
• Severe homelessness and displacement
Relative poverty is a measure of poverty that looks at the economic inequality in a given society and measures the gap between the poorest members of society and the rest of the population. It is based on the idea that poverty should be measured not just in terms of absolute income, but also relative to the average income in a society. This means that the relative poverty rate looks at how much of the population earns less than half of the median income. Relative poverty is often used as an indicator of social deprivation and inequality, as it reflects the degree to which the least well-off members of society are being left behind.
Examples of relative poverty include:
• Living with an income that is substantially lower than the median income in the area
• Lack of access to basic necessities, such as food, housing, medical care, and clothing
• Inability to participate in activities that are considered necessary and normal in the local community, such as attending school or participating in social activities
• Living in an area with poor or inadequate infrastructure and services, such as transportation, sanitation, and healthcare
Cyclical poverty is a type of poverty that is characterized by the entrapment of a person or a group of people in a continuous cycle of poverty. This type of poverty is often caused by structural factors, such as government policies, oppressive systems of power, or a lack of access to resources and services. Examples of cyclical poverty can include communities that are unable to access quality education, living in areas that lack basic infrastructure, or existing in a region with a high rate of unemployment.
Other forms of cyclical poverty can include communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental disasters, inadequate healthcare systems, and oppressive systems of governance.
Structural poverty is a type of poverty that is caused by a lack of access to resources, services, or opportunities that are necessary for a person or group to live a decent life. Structural poverty is often caused by racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination, as well as by economic and political policies that deny individuals or groups access to resources and opportunities.
Examples of structural poverty include:
• Lack of access to quality education, which can prevent individuals from entering the workforce and earning a living wage.
• Limited access to healthcare, which can prevent individuals from receiving necessary medical care.
• Lack of access to housing, which can lead to homelessness.
• Inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, which can lead to health issues.
• Discrimination in the workplace, which can prevent individuals from being hired or promoted.
Generational poverty is a cycle of poverty that is passed down from one generation to the next. It is often caused by a lack of resources, education, and opportunities. Examples of generational poverty may include:
• Families that have been in poverty for generations, and have never had the opportunity to break the cycle.
• Children who never had access to a quality education and are unable to find well-paying jobs.
• Communities that are plagued by violence and crime, leaving little opportunity for economic growth.
• Families living in unsafe neighborhoods with limited access to basic resources like clean water, health care, and nutritious food.
Gender-based poverty is a form of poverty which disproportionately affects women and girls. Examples of gender-based poverty include the gender pay gap, lack of access to healthcare and education, and the unequal burden of unpaid care and domestic work.
Women and girls are more likely to experience poverty due to gender-based discrimination, lack of economic resources and limited access to employment opportunities. Women are more likely to be unemployed, earn less than men, and face greater barriers to accessing credit and financial services.
Furthermore, women are often excluded from decision-making processes and are more likely to be subject to violence and exploitation.
Urban poverty is a major issue that affects many cities around the world. It is often characterized by overcrowding, inadequate housing, and limited access to basic services such as clean water, sanitation, health care, education, and employment opportunities. In many cases, urban poverty is further compounded by social exclusion, discrimination, and lack of access to decision-making processes.
Examples of urban poverty are widespread. In India, for instance, more than one-third of the urban population lives in slums or on the streets. In Sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 70 percent of the urban population lives in poverty. Other examples include cities in Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, where large numbers of people are living in extreme poverty.
Rural poverty is a major issue in many parts of the world, particularly in developing countries. It is characterized by poor access to basic necessities such as education, healthcare, and clean water and sanitation. The lack of economic opportunities in rural areas can lead to high levels of poverty and deprivation.
Examples of rural poverty can be seen in many parts of Africa and Asia, where there is limited access to services and infrastructure, and where people are unable to access markets or educational opportunities. In India, for example, the majority of the population lives in rural areas and is heavily dependent on subsistence farming. This lack of economic opportunity has led to high levels of poverty and deprivation, particularly among the lowest castes and tribal groups.
In Latin America, rural poverty is also an issue. For example, in Guatemala, around 70% of the population lives in rural areas and is heavily dependent on subsistence farming. This lack of economic opportunity has led to high levels of poverty and deprivation, particularly among the Indigenous populations.
Causes of Poverty
Poverty is caused by a variety of factors and is a complex problem that has no single solution. Economic inequality is a major contributing factor to poverty, as those with less access to resources, education, and employment opportunities are disproportionately affected.
Poor healthcare and sanitation can lead to malnutrition and disease, which can further limit access to employment and other opportunities.
Inadequate infrastructure, such as unreliable energy and transportation, can also limit access to resources, education, and employment.
Political instability, armed conflict, and displacement can further contribute to poverty, as they disrupt access to resources, infrastructure, education, and employment.
Finally, environmental issues, such as extreme weather, can further contribute to poverty, as they limit access to resources and employment opportunities.
The poverty line is the level at which a person or family is considered to be living in poverty. This line is determined by a variety of factors, such as the cost of food, housing, and other basic necessities. The poverty line is adjusted annually to reflect changes in the cost of living.
In the United States, the poverty line is determined by the federal government and is used to determine eligibility for various assistance programs. The poverty line is typically higher in urban areas than in rural areas, due to the higher cost of living in cities.
Globally, the poverty line is determined by the World Bank and is based on a person or family's purchasing power.
Poverty Line in India
The poverty line in India is a measure of poverty used by the government of India to classify the economic status of individuals and households. It is determined by the Planning Commission of India and is based on the household's monthly income. The poverty line in India is revised every five years, with the most recent revision occurring in 2020.
The poverty line in India is set at an income level of Rs. 816 per person per month in rural areas and Rs. 1,000 per person per month in urban areas. This is equivalent to an annual income of Rs. 10,192 in rural areas and Rs. 12,240 in urban areas.
Above this level, an individual or household is considered to be above the poverty line.
Below this level, the individual or household is considered to be below the poverty line.
The Hunger Index is a measure of the level of hunger and malnutrition in a country. It is an indicator of the overall health and welfare of a population, and can be used to compare the relative levels of hunger and malnutrition between different countries. The Hunger Index is composed of three components: the prevalence of undernourishment, the prevalence of child wasting, and the prevalence of child stunting. Each component is given a score, which is then combined to give an overall score for the country. The higher the score, the more severe the level of hunger and malnutrition in the country.
9 Ways to Remove Poverty from Country
Here 9 surefire ways are mentioned to remove poverty as:
1: Increase access to economic opportunities
One way to do this is to create greater access to education and training that can help people build the skills they need to secure employment. This can be done through programs that provide tuition assistance, mentorship, and career guidance to those in need.
Additionally, economic opportunities can be increased through government initiatives such as job training programs, small business loans, and subsidies for vocational education. These types of programs can help people gain the skills and resources needed to start a business or secure employment in their chosen field.
2: Establish job training programs
Job training programs can help unemployed individuals to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce and increase their earning potential. These programs can range from basic job readiness and literacy training to more specialized skills such as technical or vocational training. Job training programs can also help individuals to develop transferable skills that are valuable to employers. By investing in job training, organizations can help to break the cycle of poverty and promote economic growth.
3: Increase access to quality education
Access to quality education is essential for individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed to escape poverty. Quality education enables individuals to develop the capacity to think critically, acquire valuable skills, and participate in society. It also provides access to better employment opportunities and higher wages, which can help lift people out of poverty.
Providing access to quality education for all is a crucial step in the fight against poverty. Governments, communities, and other organizations must work together to ensure that people of all backgrounds have access to quality education.
This can include making education more affordable and accessible, supporting teachers and school systems, and providing resources to students in need. These efforts will help to break the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.
4: Increase access to affordable housing
Access to affordable housing is one of the most effective tools for reducing poverty. By increasing access to affordable housing, individuals and families will have the opportunity to put down roots in their communities and develop the stability they need to succeed. This will reduce the burden of poverty on individuals and families and create opportunities for long-term economic mobility.
5: Strengthen safety net programs
Safety net programs can help reduce poverty by providing families with the financial resources they need to meet their basic needs. These programs can provide assistance with rent and utility payments, food assistance, childcare, health care, and other necessary services. Strengthening these programs can ensure that people living in poverty have access to the resources they need to improve their lives.
Additionally, improving access to education and job training programs can help people gain the skills they need to become self-sufficient. Investing in these programs can help reduce poverty and create a more equitable society.
6: Expand access to healthcare
Expanding access to healthcare is an important step in helping to reduce poverty. Access to healthcare not only provides individuals with necessary medical care, but it also allows them to lead healthier, more productive lives. Improved access to healthcare can enable individuals to seek and maintain gainful employment, which in turn can lead to more financial stability.
Additionally, access to healthcare can reduce the economic burden of medical care costs and prevent the need for individuals to choose between medical care and other basic needs, such as food and shelter. Investing in healthcare can, therefore, be an effective way to reduce poverty and its associated health consequences.
7: Promote financial literacy
Financial literacy is an important tool for people who are living in poverty. It can help them make informed decisions about their financial situations and give them the tools to build a better future. Teaching basic financial literacy skills can help people in poverty better understand how to budget their money, build savings, and make investments.
Additionally, learning financial literacy can help create more opportunities and resources to help people who are living in poverty access better jobs, better housing, and other services they need to improve their lives.
8: Provide incentives for businesses to create jobs
Incentives could include tax breaks, subsidies, and other financial rewards. Additionally, businesses could receive incentives for hiring people from disadvantaged backgrounds or those living in poverty. Such incentives could help businesses to create more jobs to help reduce poverty and provide economic stability to those in need.
Furthermore, incentives could be used to encourage businesses to provide training and education to their employees in order to help them gain the skills necessary to succeed in today's workforce.
9: Invest in infrastructure to create jobs
Investing in infrastructure will create jobs for those in poverty and help to reduce poverty in the long run. Infrastructure investments can include investments in public transportation, roads and bridges, water and sewer systems, energy grids, and other infrastructure projects. These investments can create more employment opportunities and increase wages in areas with low-income households, providing a much-needed boost to the economy.
Furthermore, these investments can lead to improved access to essential services and resources, such as healthcare, education, and housing, which can enable those in poverty to have a better quality of life.