Poverty is the state of having few material possessions or little income. Poverty can have diverse social, economic, and political causes and effects. When evaluating poverty in statistics or economics there are two main measures: Absolute poverty measures compare income against the amount needed to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Relative poverty measures when a person cannot meet a minimum level of living standards, compared to others in the same time and place. Thus relative poverty is defined varies from one country to another, or from one society to another.
Statistically, as of 2019, most people on the planet live in poverty: (in Purchasing Power Parity dollars) 85% live on less than $30 per day, two-thirds live on less than $10 per day, and 10% live on less than $1.90 per day (extreme poverty)
. According to the World Bank Group in 2020, more than 40 percent of the poor live in conflict-affected countries. Even when countries experience economic development, the poorest citizens of middle-income countries frequently do not gain an adequate share of their countries’ increased wealth to leave poverty
. Governments and non-governmental organizations have experimented with a number of different policies and programs for poverty alleviation, such as electrification in rural areas or housing first policies in urban areas. The international policy frameworks for poverty alleviation are summarized in Sustainable Development Goal 1: “No Poverty”.
Social forces, such as a gender, disability or race or ethnicity, can exacerbate issues of poverty—with women, children and minorities frequently bearing unequal burdens of poverty. Moreover, impoverished individuals are more vulnerable to the effects of other social issues, such as the environmental effects of industry or the impacts of climate change or other natural disasters or extreme weather events. Poverty can also make other social problems worse, economic pressures on impoverished communities frequently play a part in deforestation, biodiversity loss and ethnic conflict. For this reason, the Sustainable Development Goals and other international policy programs, such as the international recovery from COVID-19, emphasize the connection of poverty alleviation with other societal goals.