Types of Poverty

The situation where one is unable to fulfill the minimum requirements of life such as food, clothing, housing, education, and health facilities are referred to as poverty. After going through this post, you will be able to understand the types of poverty.


Classification of Poverty


Poverty can be classified into the following three categories.

Chronic Poor: Chronic poor refers to those who have always been in a state of poverty. For example, landless workers, casual workers, etc. can be considered as chronic poor.

Transient Poor: Transient poor refers to those who keep on moving in and out of the state of poverty. For example, seasonal agricultural workers can be considered as transient poor.

Never Poor: It refers to those who are never in the state of poverty.


Types of Poverty


There are two types of poverty

  • On the basis of the ability to fulfill the minimum needs
  • On the basis of the region

Types of Poverty #1


On the basis of the ability to fulfill the minimum needs

On this basis, poverty is classified into the following two types.

Absolute Poverty: Absolute poverty is the one that is expressed in terms of income needed to sustain the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, and shelter. Those who are not able to earn such a minimum amount of income are known as absolutely poor. Absolute poverty can change over time as the amount of money required to buy the minimum requirements of life changes due to the rise in the price levels.

Relative Poverty: Relative poverty refers to the poverty of one set of people in relation to the other. In other words, it implies the poverty of one class in relation to other classes, regions, or countries. The class of people having a low standard of living is treated as poor (in relative terms) in comparison to the other class of people having a high standard of living.

Such kind of poverty is not the absence of basic requirements of life but is based on the environment in which an individual resides. For example, if a person has all the minimum requirements necessary to sustain his/her life but has a lower income as compared to his/her neighbor, then he/she will be categorized as relatively poor.


Types of Poverty #2


On the basis of the region

On this basis, poverty is classified into the following two types.

Urban Poverty: Urban poverty refers to the poverty faced by the poor living in urban areas. The urban poor enjoys a comparatively higher standard of living as compared to the rural poor. They also have better access to education and healthcare services. Further, urban poor live in ‘Pucca Houses’.

Rural Poverty: Rural poverty is common to the people living in rural areas. As compared to the urban poor, rural poor live under dismal living conditions. Rural poor also lack access to good health and educational facilities. The houses in which the rural poor usually live are known as ‘Kuccha Houses‘.


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