Difference Between Poverty and Inequality

Poverty vs Inequality
 

Poverty and inequality are concepts very much related to one another in that they refer to a situation in which people do not have the ability to fulfill all their needs and wants. While poverty refers to a lack of funds where people are merely trying to survive, inequality is a situation in which some members of the society have more resources and higher ability to fulfill their needs than some others. The following article offers a clear overview of each concept and compares the similarities and differences between poverty and inequality.

What is Poverty?

A person in poverty is someone who is merely trying to survive. People in poverty may not even have the very basic necessities in life, including food, clothing and shelter. A person in poverty maybe homeless and may not have the required education or exposure to work towards a better future. The primary aim of a person suffering from poverty would be to secure sufficient food, shelter, clothing, medicine, etc. for themselves and their families. A person in poverty may be more concerned about his wellbeing in the short term, rather than worrying about his economic and financial situation in the long term.

What is Inequality?

Inequality is where one part of the population has more financial resources, more access to material goods, and better financial ability to acquire goods and services to meet their needs in comparison to others. The other part of the population may have comparatively lower financial resources and thereby lesser ability to meet their needs and requirements. While those of the population having ample financial and other resources are referred to as the rich, others that barely have enough funds to meet their basic needs are known as poor, with many other classes of poverty in between. It is what we call inequality in the economy.

Poverty vs Inequality

Poverty and inequality are both terms that are used to refer to parts of the society that are unable to fulfill all their needs due to lack of financial and other resources. However, poverty is an absolute term and refers to people with an income that is much lower than what is accepted as general standards of living. Poverty puts people in survival mode trying to secure the very basic necessities of food, water, clothing and shelter. Inequality, on the other hand, is a relative term and compares the financial stability of a part of the society versus the financial situation of another part of the society where one party is better off than the other. Another major difference between the two is that poverty maybe measured in terms of vulnerability where a person suffers from poverty not because they are unable to meet their obligations, but because they are barely making ends meet. For example, a person who makes $300 a week has expenses for $298 is said to be living in poverty because any additional expense could make them vulnerable. However, inequality does not take vulnerability into consideration and only compares the financial standing of different classes of society.

What is the difference between Poverty and Inequality?

• Poverty and inequality are concepts very much related to one another in that they refer to a situation in which people do not have the ability to fulfill all their needs and wants.

• A person in poverty is someone who is merely trying to survive. People in poverty may not even have the very basic necessities in life including food, clothing and shelter.

• Inequality is where once part of the population has more financial resources, more access to material goods, and better financial ability to acquire goods and services to meet their needs in comparison to others.