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Understanding Poverty and its Characteristics

Poverty is an often misunderstood concept, and is perceived differently depending on the status of a nation and its people. In deprived areas of the world, poverty is seen as an extreme state of existence, where a community has steep population levels and not enough natural or economic resource to sustain them. This is also the wider view of poverty, as it is well documented through news bulletins and global charitable events and organizations. However, it is less well known that poverty subsists in many affluent and renowned nations, only it harbors beneath a different and less extreme definition. In countries like the US, poverty is status is determined by contrasting annual income to a regulated dollar value, which are referred to as thresholds. These thresholds vary depending on the size of a family and average age of a household. An family unit whose income falls below this threshold are considered to be in poverty. Increasing Poverty Throughout the US The poverty threshold is refreshed annually to account for modifications in the cost of living and other economic variables. Between 2009 and 2010, the percentage of US citizens who had fallen beneath the poverty threshold was registered at 14.3, which was a 1.0 increase on the recorded figure from 2008. While this statistic is surprising in itself, the geographical split of poverty and where it is prevalent within the US is even more interesting, and highlights particular areas of concern. The southern belt of US states all recorded poverty rates above 16 percent of the population. The worst affected area was Mississippi, where 21.9 percent of society fell beneath their poverty threshold values. In total, 5 states had a percentage of over 17 percent, whereas only 5 states had levels of poverty beneath 10 percent in the USA, with most experiencing fluctuating returns of between 11 and 16 percent. These figures display 2 core trends. Firstly, that while poverty in the US in not extreme, it is widespread and pertinent across the breadth of the country. Secondly, they also highlight that it is particularly prevalent in particular areas and geographical points within the countries boundaries. # While the wider issue is an inevitable consequence of wealth and its disproportionate distribution, the exact locality and geographical trends of poverty may be influenced by factors such as industry and lack of coordination between income and cost. Wealth Distribution and Income Typically, poverty is a consequence of wealth distribution and capitalism, so it is easy to understand why it subsists in affluent nations. Western countries and economical powers like the US are based on capitalist values, which champion corporate industry and a wealth distribution proportionate to those who create it. This concept stands directly opposed to communism, which support functional industry and agriculture, while distributing its wealth equally amongst society. This is where the false perception of poverty was conceived, as it is actually more likely to feature in wealthy nations with extremes of income and capital, rather than poorer nations that proportion their wealth equally. Industry type also influences poverty within the US. There is a clear dicothamy between the northern and southern states in the country, particularly in terms of prevalent industry types and occupation. The northern states are symbolic of political power and commercial outlets, such as banking, corporate and financial lending organizations. Contrast this with the southern belt, where the emphasis is focused clearly on agriculture and farming, and the variation in revenue streams and potential is vast. North American states generate a vast portion of the US wealth, and this is reflected in the wealth distribution statistics. This fact, when coupled with the capitalist values of the US, influence the levels of poverty in geographical areas. The common misconception of poverty is that it doesn’t exist in affluent countries. The statistics prove otherwise, and display clear trends in low income families living in financially sound nations who suffer with poverty. The lack of awareness concerning poverty also shows that its actual concept is misunderstood, and that it is in fact evident in everyday society. While the extremes of poverty are widely publicized and well known, the core definition of poverty and its indicators are actually far more subtle. These subtleties act to disguise poverty to society and its members, and even to government officials and bodies, meaning that is often allowed to continue unnoticed in wealth orientated countries.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

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