Have you ever lived without enough money to support yourself? Last year, 13.2 percent of people in the United States did not have enough money to support themselves or their families. 1 in 7 people were at risk of suffering from hunger in the United States, as well as 3.5 million people that were forced to sleep in parks, under bridges, in shelters or cars. In this paper, you will learn about poverty’s history in America and its definition, the causes/reasons of poverty, the effects of poverty on America, and the salaries of people in poverty.
Poverty is the state or condition of having little to no money or goods. In America, poverty started being a major issue in the late 1950s when it reached 22.4 percent of the American population. Throughout the 1960s, poverty steadily declined, and reached 11.1 percent in the year 1973. Over the next 10 years, poverty alternated between 11.1 and 12.6 percent, but by 1980, the percentage of people in poverty began to rise again. By 1983, poverty had reached 15.2 percent. Over the next decade, the poverty rate stayed above 12.8 percent, increasing to 15.1 percent by 1993. By the year 2000, the poverty rate had decreased to 11.3 percent. In 2004, the poverty level had reached 12.7 percent of Americans. The poverty rate has increased to 15.1 percent between 2004 and 2012. There has to be many reasons that this many people are affected by poverty.
There are many reasons that so many people are experiencing poverty. The primary cause of poverty in America originates from social or racial grouping and stereotyping, isolation from social interactions and opportunities, lack of knowledge, lack of employment skills, education, and resources. Other reasons for poverty include lack of affordable housing, low incomes, and a lack of affordable health care. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, families across the United States would need to earn “housing wages” of $15.37 an hour, which is three times the current minimum wage, just be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Over the past 25 years, salaries for the lowest income workers have not been effective with the increase in living costs, as well as the increase in salaries of those with higher salaries. The cost of healthcare and insurance has risen drastically over the past and can now cost a family up to $8000 per year. For families living in poverty, this cost can be difficult for them to pay. For families or individuals in poverty that lack health insurance, a sudden illness, chronic disease, or accident will be devastating. If something were to happen to someone in poverty, it would be very difficult to pay the expenses of the healthcare they went through, which could, in turn, make them poorer than they already were. All of these causes must have an effect on the American society somehow.
The effects of poverty in America are very serious as well as creating a great impact on American society. Children who grow up in poverty...