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Poverty Causes And Effects Essay Sample

After the global economic crisis of 2008, many people around the globe faced one of the worst social phenomenons: poverty. In the United States alone, the number of poor people in 2012 increased up to 46.5 million (Reuters). In developing countries, the situation had become even worse. Poverty does not mean that a person has little money to afford goods they want to purchase, or to maintain a stable quality of life; rather often poverty is absolute, which means that one literally has no livelihood. But what factors usually stand behind such dramatic impacts of poverty around the world, except the aforementioned economic crisis?

Poverty rates are greatly influenced by overpopulation. Overpopulation is a situation of a large number of people residing in a territory that is extremely limited in space and resources. Developing countries often face the problem of overpopulation; except the unequal distribution of resources and the lack of space, they usually have high birth rates, and low agricultural productivity. For example, Bangladesh has the highest population density in the world—2,970 persons per square mile. The dominating majority of them are engaged in low-productivity farming and manual labor, which causes extremely high levels of poverty in this country (Poverty at Large).

Another factor standing behind the increased poverty rates increase is unemployment. This problem has become one of the most urgent after 2008. In 2009 through 2010, about 42% of all families in Great Britain alone had no working members (Children Poverty Action Group). The job markets cannot offer enough jobs that would correspond with the skills of unemployed people. Besides, because of poverty, many people are willing to get any job for any payment; thus, they decrease the overall wages in those spheres that they start working at. In other words, the cheapening of labor and the working force takes place. There is no need to tell that low-wage jobs and part-time jobs are nothing else but poverty traps.

One more reason is significant demographic shifts. For example, in the United States a number of single-member families is traditionally high, and has been increasing; because one parent has less opportunities to ensure an adequate standard of living both for their children and for themselves, single-parent families are traditionally poorer then normal. Besides, poor people often share a belief that it is the social institutions to blame for their poverty, or that they can never make it out of their low income; therefore, they create psychological backgrounds for their financial condition.

Poverty is not a new social phenomenon. It has existed as long as the humankind has been around. But, until 2008, it was more typical for developing countries, whereas after the global economy crisis, even the developed post-industrial countries experienced it. Among the reasons for poverty the most obvious are overpopulation, unemployment, and demographic shifts together with psychological premises.


Mutikani, Lucia, Caroline Humer, and Susan Heavey. “U.S. Poverty Rises Despite Economic Recovery.” Reuters. Ed. Mohammad Zargham. N.p., 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“Causes of Poverty.” Poverty at Large: A Dark Spot in Humanity. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“What Causes Poverty?” Child Poverty Action Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

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If you are looking for cause and effect essay examples here is a great one below


Cause and Effect Example: Poverty as a Social Problem


Poverty in America is an urgent socio-economic issue. It is a problem facing a large percentage of the country’s population, though much of what causes it and sustains it could ultimately be avoided. Poverty can be prevented. It is children trying to survive without the adequate means of living, whether it means being homeless or having no food and no hope. It is the married couple struggling to live each day in a healthy way, or a parent unable to take care of their growing children. Poverty is a problem with several negative effects, as well – ones that should be addressed by American leaders – ranging from government dependence to a very low quality of life and, well, more and more needless poverty.


Of the many causes of poverty, the cycle of poverty is one that is perpetuated through family. A person born to a poverty-stricken family is often doomed to repeat the lives of their elders, of their parents who are living in and accepting of dire poverty. They often make the same mistakes as these family members do, such as committing crimes that lead to incarceration, and come to generally believe that life, at least for them, does not exist outside of poverty. With a criminal background, from committing crimes and being found guilty and then surviving some kind of jail sentence, a person may have a problem finding good jobs, ones that offer benefits, like health insurance, retirement, and a yearly, dependable salary – the kind of things one needs to survive in the expensive 21st century.


Also causing poverty is a lack of education, which is needed for citizens to find well-paying jobs so they can become productive, tax-paying members of society. A firm education is needed to experience and enjoy mobility in one’s life and career. Many times, a person from a poverty-stricken family is not taught the importance of education, and is more likely taught the need to work in order to survive. With an education, one is eligible for good-paying jobs, ones that offer mobility and provide room for success. When a person achieves financial success, because they have the essential educational background for a particular job, they avoid a life of poverty.


Looking at the effects of poverty, the cycle of poverty, again, is one example. Poverty leads to more poverty, because people who live in poverty usually are quite ignorant of the way they live, of how bad things truly are and how, perhaps, life could be for them – meaning that they are unaware of the severity of the living conditions and, therefore, come to accept it: poverty as an inevitable way of life. Extreme poverty affects one’s quality of life, too, their sense of well being that encourages happiness and productivity and a sense of purpose. With poverty comes a view that life is full of struggles, hardship and sadness.


Also, extreme poverty affects the country. When people have no other choice but to depend on the government for financial assistance, because they cannot provide for themselves, it costs the government and its taxpayers quite a bit of money. Instead of spending money on providing citizens healthcare or searching to find ways of improving the country, poverty ends up putting America further in debt, which hurts the country’s growth in the long run.


Altogether, poverty is a serious problem because too many American citizens, natives of what is supposed to be one of the most powerful countries in the world, are living like those in third-world countries. It is something that, like many other social problems, such as segregation, can be fixed. It just takes weighing the consequences of poverty and thinking how they might worsen over time; it also requires that the United States government assess how poverty’s causes can be prevented and then taking appropriate action to stop it from recurring.






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