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What is Poverty?

Poverty is not having enough material possessions or income for a person’s needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty is the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.

When can Poverty occur?

Poverty can strike during an unexpected crisis: a serious health problem, job loss, or divorce. Poverty can happen at any given point in time in a persons life. These crises can be particularly hard when other risk factors are current such as low education, limited skills training, lack of savings, or lack of family support.

Who is affected by Poverty?

Believe it or not, poverty affects each and every one of us. A child living in poverty is twice as likely to repeat a grade and twice as likely to drop out of high school. When a student drops out of high school, they are twice as likely to live under the poverty line, be unemployed, and use social supports such as welfare, trapped in the cycle of poverty.

What is the difference in poverty and homelessness?

You can be poor and be homeless because you do not earn enough for living expenses or be at the poverty level but have somewhere to live but it is usually substandard due to being poor. Homelessness is when you do not have a home to live in so you live on the streets, with family, or even in shelters.

Learn More

Statistics on poverty in the USALearning about poverty in different areasWhat is poverty? (stop at 1:20)(PDF) Books on this topic

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