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Absolute Poverty

  • By: Bruce Headey
  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

Absolute poverty has come to have two quite different meanings. The root idea is that an individual or family is in poverty if it cannot afford the basics of human life: food, clothing, and shelter. But usage has bifurcated. Absolute poverty in developing countries is assessed using very lean standards; for example, the World Bank estimates how many people live on less than $1.25 a day. Absolute poverty in developed countries is usually measured by poverty lines that are absolute only in the sense that they ...

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