EFFECTS OF POVERTY

 EFFECTS OF POVERTY

EFFECTS OF POVERTY

Tens of thousands of poor people throughout the world die every year from starvation and malnutrition. Infant mortality rates are higher and life expectancy lower among the poor.

Poverty is closely associated with crime. Most of the poor are not criminals, and many criminals are not poor, but people from environments dominated by poverty are more likely to commit crimes and to be punished. Other social problems, such as mental illness and alcoholism, are common among the poor, in part because they are causes as well as effects of poverty, and often because there is little medical provision for dealing effectively with them. Finally, poverty tends to breed poverty; in some cases, the handicap of poverty is passed from one generation to another, possibly as a result of the family being caught in a poverty trap—a situation in which a relatively small increase in income will take the family over the threshold for entitlement to benefits, thereby creating a net loss. One possible consequence of this is that members of the household may be discouraged from seeking employment, losing the opportunities for social advancement that such employment might afford them.