What is Abject Poverty? - Definition

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  • 0:00 What Is Abject Poverty?
  • 0:59 Abject Poverty Defined
  • 1:35 Statistics
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

In this lesson, we will explore the concept of abject poverty. We will define the term and look at some poverty statistics, and then you can test your knowledge with a quiz.

What Is Abject Poverty?

Everyday, so many of us get into our fancy cars loaded with numerous technological options and heated leather seats. We then swing by our local Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee and a danish. Then, it's off to work where we sit in a classy office adorned with nice artwork and the finest computers offered today. After work, we may stop at the store to grab some necessities and then hit the drive-through window at our favorite fast food restaurant. Finally, we walk through the door of our cozy house, cell phone in tote.

While these activities and materials are quite normal in our everyday lives, there are many people whose worries have nothing to do with technology and coffee. In fact for a baffling number of people all over the world, finding the necessities to live is an everyday struggle. Imagine living somewhere where scavenging for the tiniest bit of food and searching for a soft place to lay your head at night is the norm. Imagine living in the poorest conditions, know as abject poverty.

Abject Poverty Defined

So what is abject poverty? To fully understand this term, it is best to define the word 'abject' first. Abject is the lowest extreme imaginable and is associated with misery and humiliation. Therefore, abject poverty is the lowest, most hopeless form of poverty that exists. This often means looking for food in less than desirable conditions such as in garbage cans or sleeping on park benches or in cardboard boxes. Those in abject poverty often lack access to things that many of us take for granted, such as schools, electricity, and clean water.

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