What is Situational Poverty? 4 Facts You Need To Know

“Situational poverty” is a term used in social science research to describe an individual’s experience and level of deprivation according to their life circumstances and environment.

What is Situational Poverty?

Situational poverty refers to a period of being poor due to situational causes, as opposed to generational poverty, which is a sort of entrenched poverty that can span numerous generations of a family.

What is Situational Poverty

Among the most prevalent causes of this illness are divorce, the death of a spouse, unanticipated medical bills, and job loss. These unpredictable occurrences might trigger a chain reaction that results in a loss of income and property.

Understanding Situational Poverty

Understanding the distinction between generational and situational poverty is vital for those who work with the poor and those who advocate for the poor. People in various forms of poverty tend to respond to their circumstances differently, and they may have vastly different values or priorities.

By not attempting to comprehend the plight of the impoverished in a place, campaigners can sometimes cause more harm than good, despite their good intentions.

What is Situational Poverty

People suffering situational poverty typically have a greater degree of education than those living in entrenched poverty. In addition, he or she is often conversant with the many hidden norms and social conventions of the middle classes, which might be advantageous when attempting to deal with the problem.

In addition, persons in this circumstance are more likely to have family and community support, which may make a significant impact.

Difficulties When Poverty

Without a support network, poverty may be extremely difficult. It may also be tremendously upsetting for those who have worked hard their entire lives, as it may appear as if everything is being taken away for no apparent reason.

What is Situational Poverty

Many persons who work with people in poverty point out that such conditions are a sobering reminder that they may happen to anybody; many middle-class individuals, for instance, are just one tragic event away from losing everything.

The Way To Getting Out of Poverty

Getting out of short-term poverty typically includes recognizing and resolving the reason and pursuing work that will ease the situation.

In many cultures, aid is offered in the form of temporary government benefits, job placement help, food banks, etc., in an effort to keep individuals from sliding through the gaps.

If situational poverty persists for an extended period of time, it has the potential to become intergenerational, which is something that most advocates seek to prevent.

What is Situational Poverty


Situational poverty exists when the conditions or circumstances of living are not conducive to the development of human potential. These conditions can be financial, social, educational, physical, psychological, political and/or environmental.

For example, when a person cannot afford to buy the food they need to live. When a person lacks the means to provide for their family’s basic needs such as clothing, shelter, health care, education and protection.

When a person is prevented from taking the full advantage of their physical potential by having limited access to good health care, nutrition, education and employment.

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Pat Moriarty
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