Latest Research on Poverty and Development

If used appropriately and accordingly, these methods will be the most effective way to reduce fertility rates in many countries around the world.

According to Poverty & development | Population Matters, nearly 10% of the world’s population still lives on less than $2 a day. It is easy to place poverty in the back of our minds when we know that billions enjoy an affluent lifestyle. The sad reality we face is that there are many people who live in extreme poverty today in the United States and around the world. When there is high population growth, that tends to trap people and communities in poverty. It is vital to establish sustainable population levels because that will help people achieve the appropriate standard of living everyone deserves. 

Poverty is not just limited to a lack of global resources but there are other contributing factors as well. Other practices, like politics and economic injustice, play a role in poverty levels too. In consequence, “the poorest people are almost always at greater risk from environmental damage, climate change and competition for resources. The effects of the unsustainable population hit the poorest first and hardest.” 

With all the given information regarding poverty, the numbers of those affected, the influential factors that can cause poverty, and the results, it is important to start at the beginning and explain what and how poverty is determined in our world.

Poverty is measured by using income thresholds based on family size and composition. If the total income of a family is below the threshold then as a result each family member is considered poor. The definition of poverty is established at the federal level and does not vary based on location. Doing so can lead to undercounting of those living in poverty in an area of high-cost living anywhere in the country. 

Family Size and Poverty

It is evident to see that some of the world’s poorest countries have the largest family sizes and fertility rates. Even though people realize they have no economic security nor can they rely on their government for assistance, they still have children to ensure they are taken care of when they are older. Some areas have a high child mortality rate, which in a sense adds pressure to some to have more children. When this happens, there is a transition from values that ends up honoring a large family size. 

You can imagine how and where this leads to poverty problems. Unfortunately, this turns into a vicious cycle. A poor family, with large numbers of children, may feel the need to take their children away from education early to marry young. This enables the vicious cycle to continue because family sizes will remain high especially in areas where access to modern family planning is limited or nonexistent. 

Anything that applies to families also pertains to nations. “In poorer countries, providing jobs, infrastructure, health services, and education to constantly growing population can be an impossible task.” In some cases, even food supplies can be next to impossible to fulfill. Those countries that have a high population rate in numbers of dependent children compared to economically sufficient adults create a problem. Through research, it has been proven that those countries successful in bringing down fertility rates have also moved out of poverty.

Environmental Destruction and Solutions

There has been no known connection between people in poverty having an impact on global environmental problems like climate change. However, people living in poverty can have a disturbing impact on their own local environment. In this instance, biodiversity, or the diversity of life on Earth, can suffer dramatically. This is because people in poverty erode the soil in an attempt to increase crop yields, fish stocks drop in order to provide a source for food and local forests are destroyed for wood. 

These particular actions, along with the hunting of animals for food can all but hurt biodiversity. Healthy functioning ecosystems rely heavily on biodiversity and when it is constantly the afterthought or disregarded, all life on Earth takes a detrimental hit.  Ironically, there are people who are dependent on their local environment for survival this is what contributes to further poverty. Anyone with limited options is in fact aware that their actions threaten their own and the ecosystem’s future but ultimately have no choice to do what they must in order to survive at the moment.

As a means to offer hope, there are solutions to this pressing issue. “The recipe for ending population growth is positive and simple, and also leads to a better quality of life for all.” If the methods of lifting people out of poverty, providing access to modern family planning and education tools, empowering women, and encouraging smaller families, poverty will all but be eradicated in our world. If used appropriately and accordingly, these methods will be the most effective way to reduce fertility rates in many countries around the world.


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