poverty

Related Terms
Condition where people's basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are not being met. Poverty is generally of two types: (1) Absolute poverty is synonymous with destitution and occurs when people cannot obtain adequate resources (measured in terms of calories or nutrition) to support a minimum level of physical health. Absolute poverty means about the same everywhere, and can be eradicated as demonstrated by some countries. (2) Relative poverty occurs when people do not enjoy a certain minimum level of living standards as determined by a government (and enjoyed by the bulk of the population) that vary from country to country, sometimes within the same country.
Relative poverty occurs everywhere, is said to be increasing, and may never be eradicated.

Use 'poverty' in a Sentence

Today, too many people of all ages are living in poverty and many others are only one pay check away from being there.
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Bobby's family fell into poverty after he lost his job; with no income, he could not provide food and housing.
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A single mother with children tried to work to provide for her family, but it wasn't enough to make ends meet and they continued to live in poverty.
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Notable Quotable

The Danger of Poverty
"Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright."
- Benjamin Franklin
How to Define Who is Poor
"Not he who has little, but he who wishes more, is poor."
- Seneca
Poverty and Happiness
"Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult."
- Samuel Johnson


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