Poverty is the condition of a person who is deprived of the resources, means, choices and power necessary to acquire and maintain a basic level of living standards and to facilitate integration and participation in society. (Canada.ca)

Poverty is a threat to the physical, mental, and social welfare of an individual. Some of its biggest ramifications are listed below:


Poverty is particularly damaging to children. In most cases, the environment surrounding them is detrimental to their growth and development. Many live in overcrowded homes and high crime-rate neighbourhoods, depriving them of the necessary spaces to study, play and exercise, and take breaks. Socially, research shows they are often bullied and looked down upon, which affects the way they interact with other students, teachers, and people. These factors have direct effects on their perceptions of succeeding in the future.

Source: The Conference Board of Canada


Tens of thousands of children living in poverty die each day around the world. 270 million of them have no access to healthcare. On average, those living in the worst 10% of areas die nine years younger than the richest 10%. Further, health issues are evident after birth. Both mothers and babies weigh less than average, and these children are more likely to die from birth. There is a higher risk of chronic illness and premature death for those who live in poverty.

Source: Health Poverty Action


Those from poorer backgrounds are behind in all stages of education—and the gap increases as one progresses through higher levels of education. Poverty decreases an individual’s readiness for school, which is essential to succeed academically. Statistically, those from low-income families generally score significantly lower on communication and vocabulary skills, knowledge of numbers, memorization, and ability to concentrate.

Source: Childfund International


Poverty and crime are interrelated. Extensive research has been conducted on how poverty induces crime, and vice-versa. Low-income households are more likely to report socially disruptive conditions in their neighbourhoods than higher-income ones. Problems like prostitution, drunkenness, vandalism, and harassments based on racial intolerance are twice more prevalent in lower-income neighbourhoods.

Source: Statistics Canada


Areas in cities are designated as “poor neighbourhoods” and “sketchy areas”. These reputations have detrimental effects on those local communities, which struggle to gain public sentiments of safety and growth—pillars of community improvement. Locals and tourists alike become wary of these impoverished areas, and municipalities look to divert resources away from these areas.

Source: Insights from the Social Sciences

Nation & Economy

A nation’s standard of living is dependent on measures of GDP, average income levels, and access to government services and infrastructure. Impoverished nations score low on these aspects, which creates consequential effects on citizens. Impoverished groups remain in poverty because their countries offer limited opportunities to improve livelihood.

Source: The Borgen Project