Absolute poverty

  • Created by: Poppy04
  • Created on: 18-03-17 12:00

Absolute definition of Poverty


  • Provides a clear measure in which is easy to conduct research from.
  • It enables comparisons to be made over time for the same society (Rowntree conducted his research in 1899, 1936 and 1951 adjusting the minimum income level reflect the normal standard of living at the time).


  • Limited in terms of global use, as poverty is not comparable from the UK for example to deprived areas of Africa who to which poverty means struggling economically to survive whereas in the UK it means difficulties in providing that of wider society but surviving and struggling on.
  • Assumes that the basic needs are the same for everyone in every society, Spiker (2012) says that a minimum standard can not be applied globally e.g. food: in the UK being unable to drink milk would be classed as poverty but in other countries milk is not a dietary need and individuals are unable to digest it, food needs also differ depending on individual within society.
  • Budget standard approach is too dependent on the judgment of researchers these judgments are subjective and bias based on ones beliefs.
  • Poverty changes over time a luxury in the 1940/50's television was a luxury item come the 90s almost everybody had a TV.


Absolute poverty is good in researching to a basic level the degree of poverty but the term is too limited when researching further and making comparisons, other measurements should be considered for the research so that changes over time and society are considered when comparing the data.


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