Different types of poverty - Major 3 types of poverty


Poverty is the problem of the economic development of developing countries. Hence, the main objective of economic development is to reduce poverty. The present and past development plans of developing countries have made poverty alleviation as an important objective.


Poverty is the problem of the economic development of developing countries. Hence, the main objective of economic development is to reduce poverty. The present and past development plans of developing countries have made poverty alleviation as an important objective. The INGOs, multilateral and bilateral agencies, NGOs, etc. are also working in developing countries with the major objective of poverty alleviation. Thus, it is clear that poverty is the biggest problem of the developing countries. Therefore, poverty alleviation has become one of the major objectives of the economic development of almost developing countries in the world. Thus, this chapter deals with the concepts of poverty and inequality, the characteristics of poor, the causes of poverty, the status of poverty in Nepal and measures of poverty alleviation.

Meaning and Different Types of Poverty


Poverty is defined as the inability to attain a minimum standard of living. In other words, it is an income below some minimum level to meet basic needs. The basic needs include foods, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. According to the World Bank (World Development Report, 2000/2001),, "Poverty is more than inadequate income or human development; it is also vulnerability and lack of peace, power, and representation." 




According to Amatya Sen, "Poverty is deprivation of basic capabilities rather than merely a lowness of income."

Hence, poverty is the situation of inadequate income, illiteracy, malnutrition, lack of social services like health care, sanitation and lack of social and political status.


Types of Poverty


In general, there are two types of poverty. They are as follows.

1.Absolute poverty: 


Absolute poverty is the situation of inability to fulfill the basic needs of people or the inability to attain a minimum standard of living. To understand the meaning of absolute poverty, it is necessary to understand the concept of the poverty line. The poverty line is the minimum. Income required to fulfill the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. If the income of a person is below the poverty line, it is known as absolute poverty. In the context of developing countries, the problem of absolute poverty is widely discussed. It is also measured in terms of calorie intake per day. If the calorie intake per day is below 2144, it is known as absolute poverty. World Bank (2015) has defined the individual whose income is less than the US $ 1.90 per day as absolutely poor. This is known as the international poverty line.


2.Relative poverty: 


Relative poverty is the situation in which a person has enough income to sustain life, but the income and living standard are lower compared to the rest of the community. It is also the condition of less income in a country compared to the worldwide average. The absolute poverty is the problem of developing countries rather than relative poverty.


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