Poverty Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on poverty essay.

“Poverty is the worst form of violence”. – Mahatma Gandhi.

poverty essay

How Poverty is Measured?

For measuring poverty United nations have devised two measures of poverty – Absolute & relative poverty.  Absolute poverty is used to measure poverty in developing countries like India. Relative poverty is used to measure poverty in developed countries like the USA. In absolute poverty, a line based on the minimum level of income has been created & is called a poverty line.  If per day income of a family is below this level, then it is poor or below the poverty line. If per day income of a family is above this level, then it is non-poor or above the poverty line. In India, the new poverty line is  Rs 32 in rural areas and Rs 47 in urban areas.

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Causes of Poverty

According to the Noble prize winner South African leader, Nelson Mandela – “Poverty is not natural, it is manmade”. The above statement is true as the causes of poverty are generally man-made. There are various causes of poverty but the most important is population. Rising population is putting the burden on the resources & budget of countries. Governments are finding difficult to provide food, shelter & employment to the rising population.

The other causes are- lack of education, war, natural disaster, lack of employment, lack of infrastructure, political instability, etc. For instance- lack of employment opportunities makes a person jobless & he is not able to earn enough to fulfill the basic necessities of his family & becomes poor. Lack of education compels a person for less paying jobs & it makes him poorer. Lack of infrastructure means there are no industries, banks, etc. in a country resulting in lack of employment opportunities. Natural disasters like flood, earthquake also contribute to poverty.

In some countries, especially African countries like Somalia, a long period of civil war has made poverty widespread. This is because all the resources & money is being spent in war instead of public welfare. Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. are prone to natural disasters like cyclone, etc. These disasters occur every year causing poverty to rise.

Ill Effects of Poverty

Poverty affects the life of a poor family. A poor person is not able to take proper food & nutrition &his capacity to work reduces. Reduced capacity to work further reduces his income, making him poorer. Children from poor family never get proper schooling & proper nutrition. They have to work to support their family & this destroys their childhood. Some of them may also involve in crimes like theft, murder, robbery, etc. A poor person remains uneducated & is forced to live under unhygienic conditions in slums. There are no proper sanitation & drinking water facility in slums & he falls ill often &  his health deteriorates. A poor person generally dies an early death. So, all social evils are related to poverty.

Government Schemes to Remove Poverty

The government of India also took several measures to eradicate poverty from India. Some of them are – creating employment opportunities , controlling population, etc. In India, about 60% of the population is still dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. Government has taken certain measures to promote agriculture in India. The government constructed certain dams & canals in our country to provide easy availability of water for irrigation. Government has also taken steps for the cheap availability of seeds & farming equipment to promote agriculture. Government is also promoting farming of cash crops like cotton, instead of food crops. In cities, the government is promoting industrialization to create more jobs. Government has also opened  ‘Ration shops’. Other measures include providing free & compulsory education for children up to 14 years of age, scholarship to deserving students from a poor background, providing subsidized houses to poor people, etc.

Poverty is a social evil, we can also contribute to control it. For example- we can simply donate old clothes to poor people, we can also sponsor the education of a poor child or we can utilize our free time by teaching poor students. Remember before wasting food, somebody is still sleeping hungry.

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7 Essays About Poverty: Example Essays and Prompts

Essays about poverty give valuable insight into the economic situation that we share globally. Read our guide with poverty essay examples and prompts for your paper.

In the US, the official poverty rate in 2022 was 11.5 percent, with 37.9 million people living below the poverty line. With a global pandemic, cost of living crisis, and climate change on the rise, we’ve seen poverty increase due to various factors. As many of us face adversity daily, we can look to essays about poverty from some of the world’s greatest speakers for inspiration and guidance.

There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum—and livable—income for every American family. Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Writing a poverty essay can be challenging due to the many factors contributing to poverty and the knock-on effects of living below the poverty line . For example, homelessness among low-income individuals stems from many different causes.

It’s important to note that poverty exists beyond the US, with many developing countries living in extreme poverty without access to essentials like clean water and housing. For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers .

Essays About Poverty: Top Examples

1. pensioner poverty: fear of rise over decades as uk under-40s wealth falls, 2. the surprising poverty levels across the u.s., 3. why poverty persists in america, 4. post-pandemic poverty is rising in america’s suburbs.

  • 5. The Basic Facts About Children in Poverty
  • 6. The State of America’s Children 
  • 7. COVID-19: This is how many Americans now live below the poverty line

10 Poverty Essay Topics

1. the causes of poverty, 2. the negative effects of poverty, 3. how countries can reduce poverty rates, 4. the basic necessities and poverty, 5. how disabilities can lead to poverty, 6. how the cycle of poverty unfolds , 7. universal basic income and its relationship to poverty, 8. interview someone who has experience living in poverty, 9. the impact of the criminal justice system on poverty, 10. the different ways to create affordable housing.

There is growing concern about increasing pensioner poverty in the UK in the coming decades. Due to financial challenges like the cost of living crisis, rent increases, and the COVID-19 pandemic, under 40s have seen their finances shrink.

Osborne discusses the housing wealth gap in this article, where many under the 40s currently pay less in a pension due to rent prices. While this means they will have less pension available, they will also retire without owning a home, resulting in less personal wealth than previous generations. Osborne delves into the causes and gaps in wealth between generations in this in-depth essay.

“Those under-40s have already been identified as  facing the biggest hit from rising mortgage rates , and last week a study by the financial advice firm Hargreaves Lansdown found that almost a third of 18- to 34-year-olds had stopped or cut back on their pension contributions in order to save money.” Hilary Osborne,  The Guardian

In this 2023 essay, Jeremy Ney looks at the poverty levels across the US, stating that poverty has had the largest one-year increase in history. According to the most recent census, child poverty has more than doubled from 2021 to 2022.

Ney states that the expiration of government support and inflation has created new financial challenges for US families. With the increased cost of living and essential items like food and housing sharply increasing, more and more families have fallen below the poverty line. Throughout this essay, Ney displays statistics and data showing the wealth changes across states, ethnic groups, and households.

“Poverty in America reflects the inequality that plagues U.S. households. While certain regions have endured this pain much more than others, this new rising trend may spell ongoing challenges for even more communities.” Jeremy Ney,  TIME

Essays About Poverty: How countries can reduce poverty rates?

In this New York Times article, a Pulitzer Prize-winning sociologist explores why poverty exists in North America.

The American poor have access to cheap, mass-produced goods, as every American does. But that doesn’t mean they can access what matters most. Matthew Desmond,  The New York Times

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its annual data on poverty, revealing contrasting trends for 2022. While one set of findings indicated that the overall number of Americans living in poverty remained stable compared to the previous two years, another survey highlighted a concerning increase in child poverty. The rate of child poverty in the U.S. doubled from 2021 to 2022, a spike attributed mainly to the cessation of the expanded child tax credit following the pandemic. These varied outcomes underscore the Census Bureau’s multifaceted methods to measure poverty.

“The nation’s suburbs accounted for the majority of increases in the poor population following the onset of the pandemic” Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube,  Brookings

5.  The Basic Facts About Children in Poverty

Nearly 11 million children are living in poverty in America. This essay explores ow the crisis reached this point—and what steps must be taken to solve it.

“In America, nearly 11 million children are poor. That’s 1 in 7 kids, who make up almost one-third of all people living in poverty in this country.” Areeba Haider,  Center for American Progress

6.  The State of America’s Children  

This essay articles how, despite advancements, children continue to be the most impoverished demographic in the U.S., with particular subgroups — such as children of color, those under five, offspring of single mothers, and children residing in the South — facing the most severe poverty levels.

“Growing up in poverty has wide-ranging, sometimes lifelong, effects on children, putting them at a much higher risk of experiencing behavioral, social, emotional, and health challenges. Childhood poverty also plays an instrumental role in impairing a child’s ability and capacity to learn, build skills, and succeed academically.” Children’s Defense Fund

7.  COVID-19: This is how many Americans now live below the poverty line

This essay explores how the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic 2020 led to a surge in U.S. poverty rates, with unemployment figures reaching unprecedented heights. The writer provides data confirming that individuals at the lowest economic strata bore the brunt of these challenges, indicating that the recession might have exacerbated income disparities, further widening the chasm between the affluent and the underprivileged.

“Poverty in the U.S. increased in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hammered the economy and unemployment soared. Those at the bottom of the economic ladder were hit hardest, new figures confirm, suggesting that the recession may have widened the gap between the rich and the poor.” Elena Delavega,  World Econmic Forum

If you’re tasked with writing an essay about poverty, consider using the below topics. They offer pointers for outlining and planning an essay about this challenging topic.

One of the most specific poverty essay topics to address involves the causes of poverty. You can craft an essay to examine the most common causes of extreme poverty. Here are a few topics you might want to include:

  • Racial discrimination, particularly among African Americans, has been a common cause of poverty throughout American history. Discrimination and racism can make it hard for people to get the education they need, making it nearly impossible to get a job.
  • A lack of access to adequate health care can also lead to poverty. When people do not have access to healthcare, they are more likely to get sick. This could make it hard for them to go to work while also leading to major medical bills.
  • Inadequate food and water can lead to poverty as well. If people’s basic needs aren’t met, they focus on finding food and water instead of getting an education they can use to find a better job.

These are just a few of the most common causes of poverty you might want to highlight in your essay. These topics could help people see why some people are more likely to become impoverished than others. You might also be interested in these essays about poverty .

Poverty affects everyone, and the impacts of an impoverished lifestyle are very real. Furthermore, the disparities when comparing adult poverty to child poverty are also significant. This opens the doors to multiple possible essay topics. Here are a few points to include:

  • When children live in poverty, their development is stunted. For example, they might not be able to get to school on time due to a lack of transportation, making it hard for them to keep up with their peers. Child poverty also leads to malnutrition, which can stunt their development.
  • Poverty can impact familial relationships as well. For example, members of the same family could fight for limited resources, making it hard for family members to bond. In addition, malnutrition can stunt the growth of children.
  • As a side effect of poverty, people have difficulty finding a safe place to live. This creates a challenging environment for everyone involved, and it is even harder for children to grow and develop.
  • When poverty leads to homelessness, it is hard for someone to get a job. They don’t have an address to use for physical communication, which leads to employment concerns.

These are just a few of the many side effects of poverty. Of course, these impacts are felt by people across the board, but it is not unusual for children to feel the effects of poverty that much more. You might also be interested in these essays about unemployment .

Different countries take different approaches to reduce the number of people living in poverty

The issue of poverty is a major human rights concern, and many countries explore poverty reduction strategies to improve people’s quality of life. You might want to examine different strategies that different countries are taking while also suggesting how some countries can do more. A few ways to write this essay include:

  • Explore the poverty level in America, comparing it to the poverty level of a European country. Then, explore why different countries take different strategies.
  • Compare the minimum wage in one state, such as New York, to the minimum wage in another state, such as Alabama. Why is it higher in one state? What does raising the minimum wage do to the cost of living?
  • Highlight a few advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations actively lobbying their governments to do more for low-income families. Then, talk about why some efforts are more successful than others.

Different countries take different approaches to reduce the number of people living in poverty. Poverty within each country is such a broad topic that you could write a different essay on how poverty could be decreased within the country. For more, check out our list of simple essays topics for intermediate writers .

You could also write an essay on the necessities people need to survive. You could take a look at information published by the United Nations , which focuses on getting people out of the cycle of poverty across the globe. The social problem of poverty can be addressed by giving people the necessities they need to survive, particularly in rural areas. Here are some of the areas you might want to include:

  • Affordable housing
  • Fresh, healthy food and clean water
  • Access to an affordable education
  • Access to affordable healthcare

Giving everyone these necessities could significantly improve their well-being and get people out of absolute poverty. You might even want to talk about whether these necessities vary depending on where someone is living.

There are a lot of medical and social issues that contribute to poverty, and you could write about how disabilities contribute to poverty. This is one of the most important essay topics because people could be disabled through no fault of their own. Some of the issues you might want to address in this essay include:

  • Talk about the road someone faces if they become disabled while serving overseas. What is it like for people to apply for benefits through the Veterans’ Administration?
  • Discuss what happens if someone becomes disabled while at work. What is it like for someone to pursue disability benefits if they are hurt doing a blue-collar job instead of a desk job?
  • Research and discuss the experiences of disabled people and how their disability impacts their financial situation.

People who are disabled need to have money to survive for many reasons, such as the inability to work, limitations at home, and medical expenses. A lack of money, in this situation, can lead to a dangerous cycle that can make it hard for someone to be financially stable and live a comfortable lifestyle.

Many people talk about the cycle of poverty, yet many aren’t entirely sure what this means or what it entails. A few key points you should address in this essay include:

  • When someone is born into poverty, income inequality can make it hard to get an education.
  • A lack of education makes it hard for someone to get into a good school, which gives them the foundation they need to compete for a good job. 
  • A lack of money can make it hard for someone to afford college, even if they get into a good school.
  • Without attending a good college, it can be hard for someone to get a good job. This makes it hard for someone to support themselves or their families. 
  • Without a good paycheck, it is nearly impossible for someone to keep their children out of poverty, limiting upward mobility into the middle class.

The problem of poverty is a positive feedback loop. It can be nearly impossible for those who live this every day to escape. Therefore, you might want to explore a few initiatives that could break the cycle of world poverty and explore other measures that could break this feedback loop.

Many business people and politicians have floated the idea of a universal basic income to give people the basic resources they need to survive. While this hasn’t gotten a lot of serious traction, you could write an essay to shed light on this idea. A few points to hit on include:

  • What does a universal basic income mean, and how is it distributed?
  • Some people are concerned about the impact this would have on taxes. How would this be paid for?
  • What is the minimum amount of money someone would need to stay out of poverty? Is it different in different areas?
  • What are a few of the biggest reasons major world governments haven’t passed this?

This is one of the best essay examples because it gives you a lot of room to be creative. However, there hasn’t been a concrete structure for implementing this plan, so you might want to afford one.

Another interesting topic you might want to explore is interviewing someone living in poverty or who has been impoverished. While you can talk about statistics all day, they won’t be as powerful as interviewing someone who has lived that life. A few questions you might want to ask during your interview include:

  • What was it like growing up?
  • How has living in poverty made it hard for you to get a job?
  • What do you feel people misunderstand about those who live in poverty?
  • When you need to find a meal, do you have a place you go to? Or is it somewhere different every day?
  • What do you think is the main contributor to people living in poverty?

Remember that you can also craft different questions depending on your responses. You might want to let the interviewee read the essay when you are done to ensure all the information is accurate and correct.

The criminal justice system and poverty tend to go hand in hand. People with criminal records are more likely to be impoverished for several reasons. You might want to write an essay that hits on some of these points:

  • Discuss the discriminatory practices of the criminal justice system both as they relate to socioeconomic status and as they relate to race.
  • Explore just how hard it is for someone to get a job if they have a criminal record. Discuss how this might contribute to a life of poverty.
  • Dive into how this creates a positive feedback loop. For example, when someone cannot get a job due to a criminal record, they might have to steal to survive, which worsens the issue.
  • Review what the criminal justice system might be like for someone with resources when compared to someone who cannot afford to hire expert witnesses or pay for a good attorney.

You might want to include a few examples of disparate sentences for people in different socioeconomic situations to back up your points. 

The different ways to create affordable housing

Affordable housing can make a major difference when someone is trying to escape poverty

Many poverty-related problems could be reduced if people had access to affordable housing. While the cost of housing has increased dramatically in the United States , some initiatives exist to create affordable housing. Here are a few points to include:

  • Talk about public programs that offer affordable housing to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Discuss private programs, such as Habitat for Humanity , doing similar things.
  • Review the positive impacts that stable housing has on both adults and children.
  • Dive into other measures local and federal governments could take to provide more affordable housing for people.

There are a lot of political and social angles to address with this essay, so you might want to consider spreading this out across multiple papers. Affordable housing can make a major difference when trying to escape poverty. If you want to learn more, check out our essay writing tips !

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Essay on Poverty: Samples in 100, 200, 300 Words

poverty descriptive essay

  • Updated on  
  • Oct 14, 2023

Essay on poverty

Poverty is a deep-rooted problem that continues to affect a large portion of the world’s population today. It touches on several aspects of human life including but not limited to political, economic, and social elements. Even though there are several methods to escape poverty, still issues arise due to a lack of adequate unity among the country’s citizens. Here are some essays on poverty which will give you insights about this topic.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Essay on Poverty in 100 words
  • 2 Essay on Poverty in 200 words
  • 3.1 Reasons Behind Poverty
  • 3.2 World Poverty Conditions
  • 3.3 Role of NGOs to Eradicate Poverty
  • 3.4 What Can be Done by Us?

Essay on Poverty in 100 words

Poverty is defined as a state of scarcity, and the lack of material possessions to such an extreme extent that people have difficulties in fulfilling their basic needs. Robert McNamara, a former World Bank President, states that extreme poverty is limited by illiteracy, malnutrition, disease, high infant mortality rate, squalid conditions of living, and low life expectancy.

In order to eradicate poverty in a country, strict measures need to be taken on all levels. The political system needs to address this issue with utmost sincerity and strategic implementation in such a way that it improves the lives of people, especially the ones living below the poverty line. 

Also Read: Speech on Made in India

Essay on Poverty in 200 words

Poverty is like a parasite that degrades its host and eventually causes a lot of damage to the host. It is basically the scarcity of basic needs that leads to an extremely degraded life and even low life expectancy. It includes a lack of food, shelter, medication, education, and other basic necessities. Poverty is a more serious circumstance where people are forced to starve. It can be caused by a variety of factors depending upon the country. 

Every country that is hit with pandemic diseases, experiences an increase in poverty rates. This is because of the fact that poor people are unable to receive adequate medical care and hence are unable to maintain their health. This renders the people powerless and even puts their liberty in jeopardy. This is because of the fact that poor people can become trapped in a vicious cycle of servitude. The condition of poverty is a distressing one that causes pain, despair, and grief in the lives of the ones it affects. 

This is also a negative scenario that prevents a child from attending basic education. It’s the lack of money that prevents people from living sufficiently. Also, it is the cause of more serious social concerns such as slavery, child labour, etc. Hence action is needed on the same with utmost sincerity. 

Essay on Poverty in 300 words

Poverty is a multifaceted concept that includes several aspects such as social aspects, political elements, economic aspects, etc. It is basically associated with undermining a variety of essential human attributes such as health, education, etc. Despite the growth and development of the economies of countries, poverty still exists in almost every one of them. 

Reasons Behind Poverty

There are several contributing reasons behind poverty in a nation. Some of them are mentioned below:-

  • Lack of literacy among citizens
  • Lack of Capital in the country
  • Large families and a rapidly growing population
  • Limited employment opportunities

There are even urban areas where the slum population is increasing. These are deprived of many basic amenities such as sanitation, drainage systems, and low-cost water supply, etc. 

World Poverty Conditions

According to UNICEF , around 22000 children lose their lives each day due to poverty. There are approximately 1.9 billion children in developing countries in the world and India is also among them. Out of these, approximately 640 million don’t have a proper shelter, 270 million are living without medical facilities, and approximately 400 million don’t have access to safe water. This worldwide situation is growing at a fast pace. 

Role of NGOs to Eradicate Poverty

The approaches by NGOs basically include helping the poor by providing various public services such as medical services etc.

They also play a major role in mobilizing the services recommended by the government. They have various approaches and strategies that directly help the poor in various ways.

What Can be Done by Us?

We help in eradicating poverty by increasing employment opportunities.

Ensuring financial services and providing the same is another such measure that can be taken.

Recognizing social entrepreneurs as people of influence, conveying to them the seriousness of this situation, and then eventually making people aware of the same is another thing that can be done. 

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Writing an essay on poverty in 200 words requires you to describe various aspects of this topic such as what causes poverty, how it affects individuals and society as a whole, etc. The condition of poverty is a distressing one that causes pain, despair, and grief in the lives of the ones it affects.

An essay on poverty may be started as follows:- Poverty is a deep-rooted problem that continues to affect a large portion of the world’s population today. It touches on several aspects of human life including but not limited to political, economic, and social elements. Even though there are several methods to escape poverty, still issues arise due to a lack of adequate unity among the country’s citizens.

Poverty in 100 words: Poverty is defined as a state of scarcity, and the lack of material possessions to such an extreme extent that people have difficulties in fulfilling their basic needs. Robert McNamara, a former World Bank President, states that extreme poverty is limited by illiteracy, malnutrition, disease, high infant mortality rate, squalid conditions of living, and low life expectancy. In order to eradicate poverty in a country, strict measures need to be taken on all levels. The political system needs to address this issue with utmost sincerity and strategic implementation in such a way that it improves the lives of people, especially the ones living below the poverty line.

For more information on such interesting topics, visit our essay writing page and follow Leverage Edu .

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5 Essays About Poverty Everyone Should Know

Poverty is one of the driving forces of inequality in the world. Between 1990-2015, much progress was made. The number of people living on less than $1.90 went from 36% to 10%. However, according to the World Bank , the COVID-19 pandemic represents a serious problem that disproportionately impacts the poor. Research released in February of 2020 shows that by 2030, up to ⅔ of the “global extreme poor” will be living in conflict-affected and fragile economies. Poverty will remain a major human rights issue for decades to come. Here are five essays about the issue that everyone should know:

“We need an economic bill of rights” –  Martin Luther King Jr.

The Guardian published an abridged version of this essay in 2018, which was originally released in Look magazine just after Dr. King was killed. In this piece, Dr. King explains why an economic bill of rights is necessary. He points out that while mass unemployment within the black community is a “social problem,” it’s a “depression” in the white community. An economic bill of rights would give a job to everyone who wants one and who can work. It would also give an income to those who can’t work. Dr. King affirms his commitment to non-violence. He’s fully aware that tensions are high. He quotes a spiritual, writing “timing is winding up.” Even while the nation progresses, poverty is getting worse.

This essay was reprinted and abridged in The Guardian in an arrangement with The Heirs to the Estate of Martin Luther King. Jr. The most visible representative of the Civil Rights Movement beginning in 1955, Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. His essays and speeches remain timely.

“How Poverty Can Follow Children Into Adulthood” – Priyanka Boghani

This article is from 2017, but it’s more relevant than ever because it was written when 2012 was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. That’s no longer the case. In 2012, around ¼ American children were in poverty. Five years later, children were still more likely than adults to be poor. This is especially true for children of colour. Consequences of poverty include anxiety, hunger, and homelessness. This essay also looks at the long-term consequences that come from growing up in poverty. A child can develop health problems that affect them in adulthood. Poverty can also harm a child’s brain development. Being aware of how poverty affects children and follows them into adulthood is essential as the world deals with the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Priyanka Boghani is a journalist at PBS Frontline. She focuses on U.S. foreign policy, humanitarian crises, and conflicts in the Middle East. She also assists in managing Frontline’s social accounts.

“5 Reasons COVID-19 Will Impact the Fight to End Extreme Poverty” – Leah Rodriguez

For decades, the UN has attempted to end extreme poverty. In the face of the novel coronavirus outbreak, new challenges threaten the fight against poverty. In this essay, Dr. Natalie Linos, a Harvard social epidemiologist, urges the world to have a “social conversation” about how the disease impacts poverty and inequality. If nothing is done, it’s unlikely that the UN will meet its Global Goals by 2030. Poverty and COVID-19 intersect in five key ways. For one, low-income people are more vulnerable to disease. They also don’t have equal access to healthcare or job stability. This piece provides a clear, concise summary of why this outbreak is especially concerning for the global poor.

Leah Rodriguez’s writing at Global Citizen focuses on women, girls, water, and sanitation. She’s also worked as a web producer and homepage editor for New York Magazine’s The Cut.

“Climate apartheid”: World’s poor to suffer most from disasters” – Al Jazeera and news Agencies

The consequences of climate change are well-known to experts like Philip Alston, the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. In 2019, he submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council sounding the alarm on how climate change will devastate the poor. While the wealthy will be able to pay their way out of devastation, the poor will not. This will end up creating a “climate apartheid.” Alston states that if climate change isn’t addressed, it will undo the last five decades of progress in poverty education, as well as global health and development .

“Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America” – Barbara Ehrenreich

In this excerpt from her book Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich describes her experience choosing to live undercover as an “unskilled worker” in the US. She wanted to investigate the impact the 1996 welfare reform act had on the working poor. Released in 2001, the events take place between the spring of 1998 and the summer of 2000. Ehrenreich decided to live in a town close to her “real life” and finds a place to live and a job. She has her eyes opened to the challenges and “special costs” of being poor. In 2019, The Guardian ranked the book 13th on their list of 100 best books of the 21st century.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of 21 books and an activist. She’s worked as an award-winning columnist and essayist.

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English Compositions

Short Essay on Poverty [100, 200, 400 Words] With PDF

In this lesson, you will learn to write short essays on Poverty . Here I will be writing three sets of essays on the same topic covering different word limits relevant for various exams.

Table of Contents

Short essay on poverty in 100 words, short essay on poverty in 200 words, short essay on poverty in 400 words.

Feature image of Short Essay on Poverty

Poverty is when people do not have enough money to meet their basic needs including food, clean water, clothing, shelter and medical necessities. Today, more than 689 million people are living in poverty around the world. In India, about 6% of our total population of around 86 million people are poverty-stricken.

These people do not have enough to even eat two full meals a day. Many of them live on the streets and have no jobs. Those who have jobs work in extreme conditions and still do not get paid enough to provide for themselves or their families. Although governments around the world have taken measures to help these people, the situation wouldn’t get better unless better steps are taken to ensure that people get an education, enough food and an opportunity to live a dignified life. 

Poverty is often described as a state in which people are unable to meet their basic needs including food, clean water, clothing and medical necessities because they do not have enough money. Today, more than 689 million people are living in poverty around the world.

These people often don’t get to eat two full meals a day. Many of them live on the streets, in deplorable conditions, without any proper access to clean water. And these people aren’t all adults, there are little children, old men and women as well as disabled people. Most of them cannot find jobs even if they try to. Those who do find a job have to often work in extreme, unhygienic and inhuman conditions where others wouldn’t dare to work. 

Looking at the struggles of poverty-stricken people often makes one think about why do these poor people have to suffer so much. Now, on one hand, there are the mega-rich people who have more than they could ever need and on the other than there are extremely poor people who would be grateful if they could get one proper meal a day. If only we can bridge the gap between the two, everyone would be able to live well.

The governments around the world have taken some measures to help poverty-stricken people, but the situation wouldn’t really improve unless proper steps are taken to ensure that these people have the access to education, enough food and an opportunity to live a dignified life. 

The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, once said – “poverty is the worst form of violence”. And it is true indeed. Poverty is when people do not have enough money to meet their basic needs including food, clean water, clothing, shelter and medical necessities. Today, more than 689 million people are living in poverty around the world.

Many of them live on the streets, in deplorable conditions, without any proper access to clean water, and don’t have food as well. When we compare this to the huge number of millionaires and billionaires we have in this world, it does paint a really cruel picture. 

Looking at the struggles of poverty-stricken people often makes one think about why do these poor people have to suffer so much. We have more than enough resources on this planet to provide for everyone.

The mega-rich in this world have more than they would ever need while the people living below the poverty line would be grateful if they could even get one proper meal a day. If only we could bridge this gap and bring everyone together, if only we could share what we have and help each other, there wouldn’t be so much suffering in this world. But the reality is that in this capitalist world, most people lack compassion and do not want to share.

The governments make some policies here and some changes there and make it seem like they are going to deal with the issues but by the time the help actually reaches those in need, it is negligible. 

The effects of poverty on a person’s life are manifold. A poor person who doesn’t have enough to buy bread for himself or his family can not think of sending his children to school. These kids who remain uneducated do not get the opportunity in life to rise above their situation or do something good for themselves and end up repeating the same cycle.

Some families remain poverty-stricken for generations, not knowing how to find a way out of it. Their situation can only improve if the government makes proper plans to provide education, food, shelter and jobs for them. It is important that the plan doesn’t just stay on the paper but is actually put to action. 

People who live below the poverty line are also human beings like us. We must always remember that and do our best to help them. Everyone deserves to live a dignified life. 

In this session, I’ve discussed the topic of poverty from a very wide perspective in simple words that everybody understands. If you still have any doubts regarding the topic, kindly let me know through the comment section below. 

Join us on Telegram to get all the latest updates on our upcoming sessions. Thank you. 

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  • Poverty Essay for Students in English


Essay on Poverty

Poverty is a disease that has no cure. The deeper this disease is, the deeper its wound. By the way, man lives under compulsion. But usually one wants to avoid it. Poverty is a condition of extreme poverty for any person or human being. This is a situation when a person starts to lack important things in his life such as the roof, necessary food, clothes, medicines, etc. to continue his life.

The causes of poverty are excessive population, fatal and contagious diseases, natural disasters, low agricultural yields, unemployment, casteism, illiteracy, gender inequality, environmental problems, changing trends in the economy of the country, untouchability, little or limited access to people's rights, Problems such as political violence, sponsored crime, corruption, lack of encouragement, inaction, ancient social beliefs, etc. have to be faced.

Poverty has become a big problem of the world, efforts are being made across the world today to remove poverty, but the problem is that it does not take the name of ending. This problem affects a human's economic and daily life. Poverty teaches man to live like a slave in which he has to change the place over time, in this situation due to the lack of education of the poor, his nature and speech also make a difference. Living in a world of poor people has become a curse. Getting enough money to get food is like getting relief from a curse for the poor, that's why they do not have access to education.

Reasons of Poverty

There are many reasons that have continued with carrying it for a long time. Because of this,  freedom, mental and physical fitness, and lack of security in a person remains. It is very important that in order to live a normal life, the country and the whole world will have to work together to bring proper physical and mental health, complete education, a home for everyone, and other important things.

In today's time, there is the problem of poverty which gives all the pain, pain, and despair to the poor. Due to the lack of money from poverty, I show the lack of many things. Poverty makes children spend life in compulsion. If forced to make bread, sometimes in bringing children's books. At that time he is also unable to raise children.

We can tell poverty in many ways like it has become a common thing in India. Most of the people here are unable to get the things they need. Here a vast section of the population is illiterate, hungry, and forced to live without clothes and a home. About half of India's population suffers from this epidemic of poverty.

A poor person lives his life without possession of basic things like food for two times, clean water, house, clothes, proper education, etc. There are many reasons for poverty in India. Incorrect distribution of national income is also a reason. People in the low-income group are much poorer than those in the high-income group. Children of poor families never get proper education, nutrition, and a happy childhood environment. The main cause of poverty is illiteracy, corruption, growing population, weak agriculture, the growing gap between rich and poverty, etc.

Measures to Control Poverty

Corruption has to be erased.

Unemployed will have to give proper employment

A growing population will have to be stopped

Farmers have to be given proper facilities for farming

Education should be provided to children for proper education

Poverty is not just a human problem but it is a national problem. It should be solved by implementing some effective methods on a quick basis. Every person should be united by ending corruption. A problem has been created in which he does not get even the basics. That is why at present, many measures are being taken to prevent poverty so that the standard of living of people around the world can be improved.

Short Essays on Poverty

Poverty is akin to being a slave, as a person cannot achieve anything he desires. It has various faces that alter depending on who you are, where you are, and when. It can be defined in various ways depending on how a person feels or experiences it.

Poverty is a state that no one wants to be in, but it must be removed owing to cultural norms, natural disasters, or a lack of adequate education. The individual who is experiencing it frequently wishes to flee. Poverty is a call for poor people to earn enough money to eat, have access to education, have adequate shelter, dress appropriately, and take steps to protect themselves from social and political violence.

It's a problem that goes unnoticed yet significantly impacts a person's social life. Poverty is an entirely avoidable problem, but there are various reasons why it has persisted in the past.

Poverty robs people of their freedom, mental health, physical well-being, and security. Everyone must strive to eradicate poverty from the country and the world, ensuring appropriate physical and mental health, full literacy, a home for all, and other necessities for living a simple life.

When a person cannot do anything according to his will, he is said to be in poverty. Many different faces alter depending on who you are, where you are, and time. It can be characterized in a variety of ways, depending on how the person feels or what they have achieved. Poverty is a circumstance that no one wants to be in, even if it is forced upon them due to a lack of experience, nature, natural disasters, or a lack of suitable education. Humans have won it, but they prefer to stay away from it. Poverty is a call for needed clothing and protection against social and political violence for the poor to earn enough money to buy food, receive an education, and find a suitable place to live.

This is an unseen problem that harms a person's social life. Even though numerous factors have contributed to its long-term persistence, poverty is a perfectly preventable problem. As a result, a person's freedom, mental and physical well-being, and sense of security are all compromised. It is critical to bring poverty and poverty from worldwide to work together to live everyday life, provide adequate physical and mental health, complete education, a home for everyone, and other essential things.


FAQs on Poverty Essay for Students in English

1. What are the Effects of Poverty?

When people are not able to afford their basic necessities. For example medications and hospital fees are impossible to afford for that means they choose crook ways of obtaining money i.e. stealing, robbery, etc.  

2. What are the Possible Ways to Remove Poverty?

Since India is a developing country, eliminating poverty here is much tougher than in other countries but still some measures can be taken and government assistance would be much helpful in this step which requires some relevant planning and policies for those who fall under the poverty line. Another major factor of poverty is illiteracy and unemployment. Therefore education is the most efficient tool to confine the poverty line in the country. 

3. What is the Poverty Line?

The Below Poverty Line (BPL) signifies the state of people who fall under poverty status. It also symbolizes an economic drawback. In addition, it is used for people who are in need of help and assistance from the government.

4. What are the causes of poverty?

Poverty has several causes, including a lack of access to essentials such as water, food, shelter, education, and healthcare. Poverty is also caused by inequities such as gender or ethnic discrimination, bad governance, conflict, exploitation, and domestic violence. These disparities not only cause a person or a society to fall into poverty, but they can also prevent people from receiving social assistance that could help them get out of it. Due to political upheaval, past or present conflict, corrupt authorities, and lousy infrastructure that restricts access to education, clean water, healthcare, and other essentials, children and communities in fragile states confront greater poverty rates.

5. What can we do to put an end to extreme poverty?

We can aid in the eradication of extreme poverty by determining what causes it in a particular community and then determining what needs to change. Because poverty manifests itself differently in different regions and is caused by different circumstances, the work to end extreme poverty differs depending on the situation. More economic resources are needed to assist people in increasing their income and better providing for themselves and their families. To ensure that poverty does not return, the work must be sustainable, regardless of the solution. As a result, the community must be involved at every stage.

6. What criteria are used to assess poverty?

Each country's government determines poverty levels by conducting home surveys of its citizens. The World Bank, for example, assists and may conduct their surveys, although data collecting is time-consuming and slow. New high-frequency surveys are being created and tested, leveraging estimations and mobile phone technologies. If you want to learn more about these topics, download the Vedantu App that has been specifically designed and curated for students by experts.

7. What is the poverty cycle?

Poverty can be a catch-22 situation. To escape poverty, a person requires access to possibilities such as education, clean water, local medical services, and financial means. Poverty creates a generational cycle if these critical factors are not there. If parents cannot afford to take their children to school, they will struggle to find work when they grow up. Even natural disasters and conflicts can exacerbate the poverty cycle by bringing more people.

8. What are the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of goals for countries worldwide to work together in a global partnership for the benefit of people, the environment, and prosperity. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to abolish extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030 and to reduce the proportion of people living in poverty in all forms by at least half. In September 2015, the United Nations member states accepted this objective as one of 17 to end extreme poverty.

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poverty descriptive essay

Essay on Poverty | 20 Lines | Paragraph

essay on poverty

Essay on Poverty- Students seeking poverty essay for their project or school exams can take reference from below. The given essay on poverty is just an example on how to write a poverty essay in English. 

Essay on Poverty

Poverty is a pervasive issue affecting millions in India. It remains a complex socio-economic challenge for the growth of the country. Poverty means a lack of basic necessities such as food, shelter, and education that takes a toll on the well-being and aspirations of a significant portion of our population.

Causes of Poverty

Various factors contribute to the presence of poverty in India. India is the largest populated country where the consumption ratio is higher than the production. This also leads to a competitive job market and low wages. Lack of education and skills restricts job opportunities, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Additionally, issues like unequal distribution of wealth, unemployment, and economic disparities further exacerbate the problem.

Rural-Urban Disparities

A significant portion of India’s impoverished population resides in rural areas, facing challenges like inadequate infrastructure, limited access to education, and a lack of healthcare facilities. Urban poverty, marked by slums and informal settlements, reflects challenges related to migration, unemployment, and a high cost of living.

Impact on Education

Poverty often acts as a barrier to education. Children from impoverished families may struggle to attend school due to financial constraints or may drop out to contribute to family income. Limited access to quality education perpetuates the cycle of poverty as individuals lack the skills needed for better job opportunities.

Healthcare Challenges

Poverty is intricately linked to health issues. Lack of access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and nutritious food contributes to the prevalence of diseases. Impoverished individuals often face challenges in accessing healthcare services, leading to a higher mortality rate and reduced life expectancy.

Government Initiatives

Recognizing the severity of poverty, the Indian government has launched various initiatives to alleviate the issue. Schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) aim to provide employment opportunities in rural areas. Poverty eradication programs and subsidies for essential commodities also contribute to the government’s efforts.

Role of Education

Education plays a pivotal role in breaking the chains of poverty. Government initiatives like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan aim to ensure universal access to education. Empowering individuals with skills through vocational training programs enhances employability and economic independence.

Community Participation

Addressing poverty requires collective efforts. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based initiatives contribute significantly to poverty alleviation. These organizations focus on providing healthcare, education, and livelihood support to marginalized communities.

In conclusion, poverty in India is a multifaceted challenge that demands comprehensive solutions. Through government initiatives, education, and community participation, we can work towards breaking the cycle of poverty, creating a more equitable and prosperous society. Empowering individuals with the tools they need to escape poverty ensures a brighter future for the nation as a whole.

20 Lines on Poverty

  • Poverty is a global challenge affecting millions of people, regardless of nationality or region.
  • Lack of access to basic necessities like food, shelter, and education characterizes poverty.
  • Economic disparities, unemployment, and unequal distribution of wealth contribute to the prevalence of poverty.
  • Rural areas often face more significant poverty challenges due to inadequate infrastructure and limited resources.
  • Urban poverty is marked by informal settlements and slums, where people struggle with issues like migration and unemployment.
  • Education is a key tool to break the cycle of poverty, providing individuals with the skills needed for better opportunities.
  • Poverty can lead to health challenges, as individuals may lack access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare services.
  • Government initiatives like MGNREGA in India aim to provide employment opportunities and alleviate rural poverty.
  • Subsidies for essential commodities and poverty eradication programs are part of government efforts to combat poverty.
  • NGOs and community-based initiatives play a crucial role in providing support and services to impoverished communities.
  • Lack of education often acts as a barrier to escaping poverty, as it limits job opportunities and economic independence.
  • Poverty eradication requires a collective effort from governments, NGOs, and communities.
  • Sustainable development goals include targets to reduce poverty and improve the living conditions of the impoverished.
  • Income inequality is a significant factor contributing to the persistence of poverty in many societies.
  • The cycle of poverty can be broken by empowering individuals through education and skill development.
  • Access to healthcare is a fundamental right, and addressing healthcare challenges is essential in combating poverty.
  • Social safety nets, such as welfare programs and financial assistance, can provide temporary relief to impoverished families.
  • Microfinance initiatives empower individuals to start small businesses and generate income, reducing poverty.
  • Poverty is often linked to social issues like discrimination and lack of opportunities for marginalized communities.
  • Addressing poverty requires not only economic solutions but also a commitment to social justice and equality.

A Short Paragraph on Poverty

Poverty is a socio-economic issue of the country that is created due to a lack of essential resources for a basic standard of living. Millions around the globe are facing poverty, struggling to access adequate food, shelter, and healthcare. The consequences of poverty extend beyond material deprivation, affecting education opportunities and overall well-being. Families in poverty often face limited access to quality education and healthcare services, perpetuating a cycle of disadvantage. To eliminate poverty, governments should make comprehensive strategies involving NGOs, and community initiatives to ensure sustainable development, improved living conditions, and equal opportunities for all. Reducing poverty remains a global challenge, necessitating collective efforts for lasting positive change.

How to write an essay on Poverty?

While writing the essay on poverty, students should keep a few things in mind. Below are the tips to write a poverty essay.

  • Make simple and short sentences.
  • Words used should also be simple. Using difficult vocabulary can impact on the readability
  • Highlights the important facts
  • Break the long paragraph into short ones to make an essay about poverty impactful.


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Home / Essay Samples / Social Issues / Food Shortage / Persuading Society to Address Poverty: A Call to Action

Persuading Society to Address Poverty: A Call to Action

  • Category: Economics , Social Issues
  • Topic: Economic Problem , Food Shortage , Hunger

Pages: 3 (1246 words)

  • Downloads: -->
  • Bibliography
  • Global poverty and hunger: take action . (2019). Retrieved from Action against
  • Poverty in Africa. (2019). Retrieved from children international 
  • Rachelk. (2012, June 7). Speech on Poverty
  • The top 9 causes of global poverty . (2019, February 4). Retrieved from Concern worldwide US 

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