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Poverty

  • By: Pascale Joassart-Marcelli
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Poverty is deprivation of material essentials such as food, shelter, drinking water, and clothing. It is also associated with the lack of education, freedom, and dignity. The uneven distribution of poverty at various scales, from the global to the household, via the national, regional, and local, suggests the importance of geographic factors in explaining its prevalence and understanding its nature.

Poverty Measures

There is disagreement on how best to measure poverty. The first distinction exists between absolute and relative measures. Absolute measures identify a minimum level of income or consumption below which individuals or households are considered poor. For example, the World Bank defines extreme poverty as less than $1 per day and moderate poverty as less than $2 per day, with purchasing power parity adjustments allowing ...

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