Poverty can be understood in many ways. Simply speaking, poverty is a social phenomenon in which a section of the society is unable to fulfill even its basic necessities of life. The World Bank defines poverty as inability of people to attain a minimum standard of living. In another notion of poverty line, a critical threshold of income, consumption, or more generally access to goods and service is determined and below which individuals are declared to be poor. In recent definitions, poverty is not just a matter of low income; it is also a question of the poor having few economic opportunities, insecurity in the face of financial and other risks, lack of empowerment, lack of capabilities and freedom. Degree of poverty can be observed even in attitude, culture and environment of a society.
Types of Poverty
Absolute and Relative Poverty
Though poverty is a qualitative phenomenon, it can be classified into absolute and relative terms by using indirect tools of statistics. If the people do not have adequate nutrition, housing, and access to basic health and education, they are called absolute poor. It means absolute poor are those who are unable to fulfill their basic needs or they lie under a minimum specified level of income or consumption. As living standards rise and absolute poverty recedes, social concerns focus on those living in what is recognized as poverty relative to a country's average living standards. Thus, relatively poor are those whose income is below the average of others and above the absolute poverty in the line in the society.
- Absolute Poverty
- Relative Poverty