Poverty in the United States

Poverty is considered as permanent picture in developing country, and with this article, it can help shed some light on poverty situation in the United States, many considered as the land of milk and honey.

 Poverty definition varies form one nation to another, but it boils down to the purchasing power of an individual vis-à-vis the standard of living in a certain country. An individual is said to be living in poverty when he or she living in sub standard condition of his / her nation. This is how we measure poverty in the United States? Below are details regarding poverty in America?


 With the current economic status of the United States and to live a good life is too ambiguous. Poverty needs a better definition than to be conclusively estimated. Therefore, the United States sets a “poverty threshold” which, should an individual or a family find itself unable to reach up to, will be defined as poor. Now since the definition of poverty entails that the purchasing power of the individual is simply not enough to acquire a good standard of living, poverty too is measured on that particular statistic. The statistic differs based on whether we are talking about income of the individual or the household and the size of the household. Here is the basic poverty threshold defined by bureau of census in 2008. The number mentioned here is pretax income from all sources 

Single Individual Under 65 $ 11,201
Over 65 $ 10,326
Single Parent One Child $ 14,840
Two Children $ 17,346
Two Adults No Children $ 14,417
One Child $ 17,330
Two Children $ 21,834
Three Children $ 25,694

 * U.S. dollar

  Here are some few interesting facts about poverty in the United States.

 The estimated level of poverty in the United States is around 13.2%.

  • The data over several years has shown that poverty in the United States is a cyclical phenomenon and at any given time, is between 13% and 17%.
  • Unemployment is the main cause of poverty as most of the employed lot enjoys a good standard of living. This fact can be reinforced by stating that only 2.5% of the total full-time employed folk are poor.
  • The poverty rates among Hispanic people are the highest, with 23.2% and 24.7% of each community said to be living in poverty.
  • Lack of education is one of the main reasons for poverty in the United States, as the high school dropouts earn the least amount of money – less than USD 16,615.
  • The relative poverty – defined as having significantly lesser access to wealth and income – is very high in the United States. This basically means that there is a great difference between incomes of the extremely rich and poor.

 Causes of Poverty in America

 Figures does not tell you the whole story, Then what is the main reason of poverty in United States of America? With the current economic situation, mass layoff and unemployment is the biggest culprit. When a person is layoff, the biggest source of household income is cut off. Lack of education is another cause of poverty. If a child lack good quality education, fail to finish high school, chances to land a good paying job is very limited. Even employed, the disparity of degree holder income dwarfed the income of a high school dropout, unless you are Kobe Bryant or Lebron James.   

 This is how we measure poverty in United States, and yes, poverty do exists and dwells in the land of milk and honey. More and more people today are taking cognizance of the fact that simply food provision and health care programs are not going to help in eradicating poverty. It is good quality education and increasing employment opportunities for Americans which will help reduce poverty. As they say, teach a man how to fish and you feed him for life!