Poverty: definition of poverty, what is poverty? Types of poverty, what is the main cause of poverty? What are the effects of poverty on society? What are the best ways to reduce poverty? And poverty statistics.

What is Poverty, Types of Poverty, Causes of Poverty, Effects of Poverty, Poverty Statistics, Poverty Solution

Poverty- definition, types, Solution, Causes, Effects,

We all want a poverty-free world. But do we really know about poverty?


When you think about poverty, what comes to your mind? Maybe a person who is hungry for a long time and searching for food in the garbage and who has no clothes on the body with barefoot and his/her health condition is very poor.

What is Poverty

You are right, this is real poverty. 


But in this article, we are going to understand the basic definition of poverty, what is poverty? Types of poverty, what is the main cause of poverty? What are the effects of poverty on society? What are the best ways to reduce poverty? And poverty statistics.


What is Poverty?

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 upon by unclean water, Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.


Types of Poverty

On the basis of social, economical, and political aspects, there are 6 types of poverty-

1. Absolute poverty.
2. Relative Poverty.
3. Situational Poverty.
4. Generational Poverty.
5. Rural Poverty.
6. Urban Poverty.


Absolute Poverty: It is also known as extreme poverty/abject poverty. It includes basic things like food, clean water, health, shelter, education, and information.


Relative Poverty: It basically refers to income inequality. In this, the standard of living of an individual or group is compared to the economic standards of the population living nearby.


Situational Poverty: It is a temporary type of poverty that is based on the occurrence of an adverse event, such as loss of job, serious health problems, etc.


Generational Poverty: As the name suggests, it is handed over to next-generation individuals and families by the previous generation.


Rural Poverty: This poverty occurs in those areas which are below the 50,000 population. It is the areas there are fewer jobs opportunities, less access to basic services, less support for disabilities, and quality education opportunities.


Urban Poverty: This poverty occurs in those areas which are over 50,000 populations. People who are poor faced some major challenges such as limited access to health and education, inadequate housing and services, Violent and unhealthy environment because of overcrowding, little or no social protection mechanism.


What are the Main Causes of Poverty?

Main causes of poverty:

  1. illiteracy
  2. Overpopulation
  3. Natural causes
  4. Caste system/Racial Discrimination
  5. Labour exploitation



People who did not get proper education become the cause of poverty. Most of the poor are illiterate, so they do not give importance to education, and at the same time, they cannot afford the education of their children. And this cycle continues.



Where resources and opportunities are limited, and the population is high, it becomes hard to fulfill basic needs for livelihood. It can cause poverty.


Natural causes:-

Natural disasters (environmental and geographical) can also cause poverty. For example, because of floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, lighting, etc. people lose their businesses, source of income, home, etc. 


Caste System/Racial Discrimination:-

Because of this, individuals or groups can be excluded from several activities, services, opportunities.


Labour exploitation:-

Unethical business practices like labor exploitation also result in poverty.


The other causes of poverty are:

  • Short rate of economic development
  • Steep rise in price
  • Underdeveloped economy
  • Improper use of natural resources
  • Living in a remote or disadvantaged community
  • Corruption
  • Gender inequality
  • Unorganized loans at the highest interest rates in the rural areas.


What are the Effects of Poverty on Society?

  • The effects of poverty are often interconnected. Poverty is a Major social issue worldwide.


  • Poverty can affect the economic growth of any country.


  • Poverty creates an environment where children are unable to attend school. Children under the age of six are forced into child labor due to poverty.


  • Poverty is the main cause of social tension and there is a danger of dividing a nation due to income inequality.


  • Poverty promotes terrorism by creating conditions of low income, lack of food, lack of resources, basic needs, and desperation that motivate people to join terrorist organizations. But terrorism may not have a direct effect on poverty.


  • The crime rate is growing because of poverty, when poor people vote without any knowledge to the wrong candidate because they fall for money, prejudice, freebies, etc. resulting in the collapse of the entire democratic setup.


  • Crime is sure to be found where poverty is very high.


Other Effects of Poverty are:

  1. disability to organize
  2. inability to feel optimal
  3. sense of self dividedness
  4. a sense of living in ongoing or perpetual uncertainty
  5. a sense of loss of one’s values
  6. a sense of disconnection from people
  7. negativity and cynicism in some measure
  8. establishes a habit of complaint
  9. disables a sense of social wellness sometimes too often
  10. it CAN sometimes too often change motivation and ability to draw enjoyment from activities
  11. Sometimes it can upset your judgment and draw away your empathy as well


Economically, poor economies like India (yes, if we consider per capita income, then India is still a moderately poor country) suffer from a low equilibrium trap. Poor people are able to earn only so much that they can “survive” and they are left with no saving. No saving means no investment. Whatever they earn is for their survival. This stops them from becoming a producer in the market and they are forced to be a consumer forever.


What are the Best Ways to Reduce Poverty?


1. Developing and implementing rapid and sustainable economic growth policies and programs:

Studies show that a 10% increase in the average income of a country reduces poverty by 20–30%.


2. Improving management of water and other natural resources:

The poor people who live in rural areas depend on natural resources and agriculture. Hence, the government should provide natural resources and food to them. Therefore, it is necessary that they have more fair access to those resources so that they are better able to manage their resources.


3. Investing and implementing agricultural programs:

China's government has helped poor people to get out of poverty since 1978. The Agricultural Bank of China donates more than $400 to develop rural areas such as for their education, crop production, etc.


4. Encourage countries to engage in trade as a path out of poverty:

Trading is a very important thing to reduce poverty. The few poorest countries in the world, including Indonesia, Botswana, and Brazil, have adopted the way to get out of poverty.


5. Create and improve access to jobs and develop entrepreneurial talent:

This will help in economic development for the country as well as individuals.


6. Providing all people with access to basic social services:

The government should provide basic social services with education, health care, adequate food, sanitation, shelter, and clean water.


7. Progressively developing social protection systems:

For the people who cannot support themselves, the government needs to help them.


8. Involving poor people in the development plans:

Empower people living in poverty by involving them in the development and implementation of plans and programs to reduce and eradicate poverty. Their involvement ensures that programs reflect those things that are important to them.


9. Remove barriers:

Everyone should have equal access to resources and services. There should be no barrier between resources and individuals.


10. Provide access to technology and innovation:

Government should provide technology and innovation to each one. In Bangladesh, only 40% of poor people have electricity, and people who have the facility of electricity need to face repeatedly power outages. We have to focus on renewable energy development project plans to increase access to electricity in rural areas.


Poverty Statistics

How many people live in poverty in the world?

  • All around the world 9.2% or 689 million people live in extreme poverty. 
  • 22,000 children die each day because of poverty.
  • 40 million people including 12.5 million children in the US are food insecure.
  • Hunger Report shows that globally 821 million people are suffering from persistent hunger.
  • Every year, about 9 million people die of hunger and hunger-related diseases.
  • 50% of all poor are children. Women are the majority as poor in most areas and some age groups.
  • Globally, approximately 132 million poor live in areas with a high risk of flooding.
  • Around 70% of the world's poor aged 15 and over have no or only basic education.
  • Over 40% of the global poor live in economies affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. This number is expected to rise to 67% in the next decade. These economies account for just 10% of the world's population.
  • Every year about 1.5 million people die because of poverty.


“Poverty is not an accident, like slavery and apartheid; it is manmade and can be removed by the action of human beings”- Nelson Mandela

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