Dec 02

Overcoming Generational Poverty Part 2


As I continue our series on overcoming generational poverty it has become quite clear that there are multiple types of poverty.

Knowing the different types may help us wrap our head around how it actually happens and how to combat it.  So the following is from a blog written by NATASHA QUINONEZ.

Types of Poverty

There are six main types of poverty according to Eric Jensen’s study from Teaching with Poverty in Mind (2009). He lists these six types as situational, generational, absolute, relative, urban, and rural. Here’s a brief description of each type of poverty:

  • Situational: This particular type of poverty is usually temporary as it involves a crisis or loss occurring. Events connected with situational poverty include environmental disasters, divorce, or severe health problems. A good example of situational poverty caused by an environmental disaster would be the destruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Many people were homeless, lost their jobs, and had nothing to their name. The fall of the economy can also be considered an event that could cause situational poverty.
  • Generational: This type of poverty involves the birth of two generations into poverty. Because they were born into this situation, they usually don’t have the tools to help get themselves out of it.
  • Absolute: This particular type of poverty is actually rare in the United States. People in absolute poverty don’t even have basic necessities like a roof over their head, food, and water. Their only focus is on surviving each day as it comes.
  • Relative: This type of poverty is known as relative because it is relative to the average standard of living in that person’s society. What is considered high income in one country could be considered middle or low income in another. If a family’s income isn’t enough to meet the average standard of living, they are considered to be in relative poverty.
  • Urban: This particular type of poverty is only for metropolitan areas with populations over 50,000. Overcrowding, violence, noise, and poor community help programs make it even more difficult for people suffering of this type of poverty to get out of it.
  • Rural: Like urban poverty above, rural poverty occurs only in specific area types. These areas are nonmetropolitan with populations below 50,000. The low population limits services available for people struggling financially, and a lack of job opportunities only compounds the problem.

As we move into part 3 I think these terms and types will help make sense of the difficulty of moving people out of generational poverty.