Types of Poverty

Absolute Poverty

This is the extreme kind of poverty involving the chronic lack of food, clean water, health, and housing. People in absolute poverty tend to struggle to live and experience many child deaths from preventable diseases like malaria, cholera, and water-contamination related diseases. This type is usually long-term in nature and often handed to them by generations before them. This kind of poverty is usually not common in the developed world.

Relative Poverty

This kind is usually in context to other members and families in society. For example, a family can be considered poor if the family cannot afford vacations, or cannot buy presents for children at Christmas, or cannot send its young to university. Even though they have access to government support for food, water, medicine, and free housing, they are considered poor because the rest of the community has access to superior services and amenities.

Situational Poverty (Transitory)

People or families can be poor because of some adversities like earthquakes, floods, or a serious illness. Sometimes, people can help themselves out of this situation quickly if they are given a bit of assistance, as the cause of their situation was just one unfortunate event.

Generational or Chronic Poverty

This is a more complicated type and we will see a detailed example here. It is when poverty is handed over to individuals and families from generations before them. In this type, there is usually no escape from it, as people are trapped in its causes and have no access to tools that will help them get out of it.