What Is a Poverty Line?

  • Food: Body mass index must be above 16.
  • Safe drinking water: Water must not come solely from rivers and ponds, and must be available nearby (fewer than 15 minutes’ walk each way).
  • Sanitation facilities: Toilets or latrines must be accessible in or near the home.
  • Health: Treatment must be received for serious illnesses and pregnancy.
  • Shelter: Homes must have fewer than four people living in each room. Floors must not be made of soil, mud, or clay.
  • Education: Everyone must attend school or otherwise learn to read.
  • Information: Everyone must have access to newspapers, radios, televisions, computers, or telephones at home.
  • Access to services: This item is undefined by Gordon, but normally is used to indicate the complete panoply of education, health, legal, social, and financial (credit) services.
The U.S. is seeing the sharpest rise in the poverty rate since the 1960s. (Dreamstime/TNS)

The measure does not consider other living costs besides food, and the federal poverty line is the same whether a person lives in New York City or McAlester, Okla.

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Hi! I'm a young scientist passionate about bringing awareness to poverty and changing people's mindsets! Thank you for checking out my posts!

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A. Swaroop

A. Swaroop

Hi! I'm a young scientist passionate about bringing awareness to poverty and changing people's mindsets! Thank you for checking out my posts!

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