Americans can quickly forget that we live in the richest country in the world. It seems at times that every16 year old drives a brand new car, and that every family can afford a 300,000 dollar house, but this is not the case. Many families in this country can barely afford food let alone the things we take for granted everyday. Poverty is a problem in this country, and many countries around the world, but the faces of poverty might not always be whom we thought.
Poverty can be classified into two basic conceptual approaches; absolute and relative poverty.
Absolute poverty is the absence of the essentials to survival. A family living in absolute poverty might not have food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care. For these families survival is on a day by day basis, they just don't have enough to guarantee they have a future let alone being able to plan for one. Relative poverty is something we as Americans are much more familiar with. Relative poverty is the feeling of poverty when being compared to others in society. It is the feeling of inequality when looking at the rest of society that just has "more". A person living in relative poverty has the things needed for survival but might not be able to afford the same car or house as the rest of their "average" neighbors. This feeling of inequality can lead to feeling of resentment, frustration and anger, as people want to know why they can't live the same lifestyle as everyone else.
Now that we understand what these two types of poverty are it is necessary to examine who these people are. Today's poor are most likely to be people of color, children, and people living in "female-headed families. Contrary to popular beliefs most poor actually live in suburbs rather then in inner cities. At one time the child poverty rate reached 22 percent of all children in the United States, the highest rate in 30 years. Only recently has this rate dropped to 19 percent the lowest percent since the 1970's.