Who is considered poor

A definition of poverty

You can find poverty all over the world. Whether in industrialized countries, in emerging countries or in developing countries. But poverty is defined differently in every country. In addition, every person has their own idea of ​​what it means to be poor.

In the catalog of goals of the 2030 Agenda, ending poverty in all its dimensions is described as the first goal. Overcoming poverty is one of the most important development goals and a prerequisite for achieving all other sustainable development goals. For example, hunger in the world can only be ended and access to education ensured for all if people have a sufficient income.

You could say that someone is poor when he or she has too little income.

But what is too little? It could also be said that a person is poor when they cannot meet their basic needs. But what are the basic needs and who decides when they are satisfied?

Despite the difficulty of defining poverty in a binding and uniform manner, there have been attempts to describe the terms poverty and basic needs. The following three concepts are often used to describe and define poverty and its various forms: Extreme poverty, relative poverty and Felt poverty

Extreme poverty

The extreme poverty or absolute poverty applies to people who have less than $ 1.25 a day in income. $ 1.25 is 1.13 euros, about 33 euros per month. This definition sets an absolute limit value for all countries in the world. If this limit is undershot, a person is considered extremely poor.

Trying to establish a definition that is based on a monetary value in order to collect internationally comparable statistical data gives rise to several problems. On the one hand, the limit value is not or only insufficiently adapted to the price development of the last few years. For example, the World Bank raised its limit for measuring extreme poverty to $ 1.90 just one week after the 2030 Agenda was passed. On the other hand, the limit of 1.25 dollars is shown as what is known as purchasing power parity, which means that the amount of money of 1.25 dollars in different countries is made comparable by the exchange rates. However, observance of exchange rates does not, for example, cover local bartering, or does not address various forms of discrimination against people or groups when purchasing goods.

Relative poverty

As relatively poor refers to people whose income is less than 50 or 60 percent of the median income of the inhabitants of a country. In the European Union, 60 percent of median income is used to measure relative poverty. In other countries it is often 50 percent, which is why there is a certain arbitrariness here as well. Relative poverty therefore already varies with the type of statistical survey. & Nbsp; But also with the welfare level of a society and changes with its development.

In Germany, the average income in 2014 was 19,733 euros per year. This results in a limit of 987 euros as monthly income. A limit value is also set for relative poverty, below which a person in Germany is referred to as poor.

Would you feel poor with 987 euros a month? How well could you use it to meet your needs?

Felt poverty

In contrast to extreme and relative poverty is that felt poverty not based on a calculable monetary value. People feel poor because they are discriminated against or feel disadvantaged. The definition of poverty is therefore not limited to income and material goods, but a question of social or cultural perception.

SDG 1 aims to end poverty in all its forms. This requires a multidimensional approach that takes into account both absolute poverty, relative poverty and perceived poverty. Instead of focusing on income alone, multidimensional definitions of poverty also deal with basic needs such as education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation.

The other sustainable development goals are devoted to these issues in detail. Ending poverty is therefore an overarching goal of the 2030 Agenda.

Multidimensional definitions

A newer approach to measuring poverty was developed in 2010 with the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The MPI measures poverty in the three dimensions of education, health and standard of living and records various indicators for each dimension. The MPI was revised in winter 2015/16. The MPI is now available for over 100 developing and emerging countries.

In summary, it is difficult to describe poverty with a single indicator. Each definition can address other aspects of poverty. If poverty is an issue, one should ask what kind of poverty is being spoken of.

How would you define poverty?

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