Poverty in the United States

Topics: Poverty, Poverty in the United States, Poverty threshold Pages: 23 (7172 words) Published: May 26, 2011

Stephanie S. Greathouse

CST5990– Counseling Studies Integrative Project
Stephanie S. Greathouse
October, 2009

213 Krisken Court| |
Warner Robins, GA 31093| |
478-225-0721| |
mnsabina@ cox.com| |
Dr. Catherine Waugh| |
| |

Poor people did not create poverty but are its victims in an imperfect system that wanted to feel good about itself (Björn Söderfeldt, 1996). This paper will discuss some of the causes of poverty within the United States. Historically have there always been those that lived in poverty? Who defines the poverty line that affects so many people? Who lives in poverty today? What situations exist in our society that contributes to poverty? What ways are presently known to decrease some of the poverty that exists within our society today?

Table of Contents
Introduction 4
Statement of the Problem 5
Ethical Concerns 6
Methodology 9 Theoretical Framework 9 Research Question 10

Sampling Process 11
Data Analysis 14 Common Error When Interpretation 17
Literature Review 21
Reference List 30

Although the United States of America is the envy of the world because of its great resources and advanced technology a great many of its residents live in poverty. In fact, a 12.6% of the population lives below the minimum standards required to maintain adequate health, diet, and shelter (Babbie, 2004). There evidence to suggest that those who live in poverty are also discriminated against in schools, in the courts, in the job market and many other areas in the United States economy. Previous literature suggests that people who live in poverty are not only discriminated against but are also trapped in the cycle of poverty (Burger, 2008).

Poverty exists in almost every community here in the United States. Some reasons for poverty to exist are: lack of employment opportunities, unskilled individuals unable to advance to higher paying positions, those who lack transportation to keep employment, no affordable housing, homeless individuals, run away teenagers, and to those with gambling debts. Other factors to be considered when measuring this population are the age, gender, and, race of an individuals, individuals that suffer with addictive disorders, those individuals that are mentally ill and physically challenged, chronic illnesses, individuals who suffer with work injuries, older Americans, women with small children, sexual abused women, and ex-criminals. This means that the poor have difficulty achieving the American dream.

Income in the United States is not distributed equitably. The mal-distribution of income has been found to vary by race, gender, family structure, age and residence (Capella presentation, 2009). Specifically, Blacks and other minorities are more likely to have lower incomes than whites. It is important to point out that there are income differences within each racial group. Poverty rates remained statistically unchanged for Blacks (24.9 percent) and Hispanics (21.8 percent) between 2004 and 2005 (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 2005). The poverty rate decreased for non-Hispanic Whites (8.3 percent in 2005, down from 8.7 percent in 2004). Women are also more likely compare to men to be poor (24.1 percent compares to 17.9 percent for men). According recent data provided by Sue & Sue (2008) the very young and old have been found to live in poverty. For example, 1 in 6 children live in poverty while 10.1% of the elderly (65+) live...
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