Measuring Poverty

Topics: Poverty, Poverty threshold, Poverty in the United States Pages: 3 (959 words) Published: November 7, 2011
Measuring poverty
Poverty is the condition of lacking basic human needs such as food, clean water, health care, clothing, and shelter due to the inability to afford them. This is also referred to as absolute poverty or destitution. Relative poverty is the condition of having fewer resources or less income than others within a society or country, or compared to worldwide averages. When measured, poverty may be absolute or relative poverty. Absolute poverty refers to a set standard which is consistent over time and between countries. An example of an absolute measurement would be the percentage of the population eating less food than is required to sustain the human body Relative poverty, in contrast, views poverty as socially defined and dependent on social environment where certain roles and positions influence individuals belonging to a certain group. One relative measurement would be to compare the total wealth of the poorest one-third of the Relative poverty is a poverty measure based on a poor standard of living or a low income relative to the rest of society. Unlike absolute poverty, it does not necessarily imply that physical human necessities of nutrition, health and shelter cannot be met; instead it suggests that the lack of access to many of the goods and services expected by the rest of the contemporary society leads to social exclusion and damaging results for the individuals and families in relative poverty.population with the total wealth of richest 1% of the population. One of the consequences of using relative poverty to judge societies over time is that the poverty line tends to rise as incomes rise. This may be desirable if it reflects a changing social consensus about minimum acceptable standards of living. Relative poverty measures are the simplest ways to determine the extent of poverty in individual countries. Using this method, the entire population is ranked in order of income per capita. The bottom 10% (or whatever percentage the...
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