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Examining Poverty in the United States: Causes, Impacts, and Political Perspectives


A serious challenge that has persisted in affecting communities globally, poverty calls for detailed analysis to comprehend its nature and explore possible alternatives. However, in the USA, where richness is mixed with poverty, the study of impoverishment is necessary. This essay analyses the varied dimensions of poverty in America, explaining why it is persistent, outlining its effect on health, education, marriage, and imprisonment, as well as how Republican and Democratic parties respond to the problem.

Defining Poverty: Poverty is a situation whereby people or communities do not have enough moneyenough money to buy food and other important items to maintain a healthy living. Poverty in the US is not purely economic but social, extending far beyond individuals and impacting the wider community.

Importance of Examination: Such an understanding of the causes and effects of poverty is necessary for formulating helpful policies and interventions. Despite periods of high economic activity, unemployment and poverty rates show considerable durability in America. Thus, it initiates a critical analysis of the underlying causes of structuralism and systemic about the issue.

Overview of key Factors: In this paper, poverty is viewed as multidimensional because it affects health, education, marriage, and imprisonment. It also looks into various ideologies presented by republican and democratic parties towards policy making on child poverty in America.

For instance, as we venture into this journey, we must differentiate between objective information and commentary. This should be anchored on sound research findings, verified data from reliable institutions, and informed views presented by authentic scholastic debate. This paper will look at how persistent the poverty that can have many impacts on society and how different types of political parties tend to approach this multidimensional challenge.

Persistence of Poverty

Poverty remains one of the most difficult issues that keeps on existing despite the development and wealth experienced by the USA. This section examines the persistent issue of poverty, which, more than half a century ago, was at its peak, and has stagnated since then.

Stagnation in Poverty Rates: The latest statistical results from the US Census Bureau are cause for concern;. However, poverty levels have increased as compared to the past, people are still struggling to make ends meet. Analyzing income and poverty changes in recent years shows that different people have yet to experience equal effects of economic growth. Poverty reduction would have been significantly greater had wealth inequality and other reasons not inhibited this.

For example, according to the 2020 Census Report, the poverty rate averages at a particular percentage yet remains relatively stagnant despite overall national development. These issues bring into focus the relevance of existing policy measures and warranting the design of well-focused intervention approaches targeting the causes of poverty.

Systemic Issues Contributing to Persistent Poverty: Scholars and researchers have attempted to uncover the structural problems embedded in the social, economic fabric of the USA to understand why poverty continues. Most academic studies have identified several major elements sustaining the cycle of poverty, which are published in reputed journals like “The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice.”

Income Inequality: On one hand, there are income differentials. Additionally, this widening gap between those who are wealthy and the poor goes so far as preventing many people living in poverty from being able to climb the social ladder to become one of the rich ones. For instance, studies that explored income redistribution models and their influence on socioeconomic mobility show this.

Education Disparities: Quality education is a key element in fighting poverty cycles. Nonetheless, these are different in all schools since the problem of differentiated educational opportunities also remains. Studies from places of higher education, such as NCES, have supported this relationship by explaining why children from poor backgrounds are deprived of such sources for academic progress (Tickamyer et al., 2017).

Discrimination and Structural Barriers: The challenges of marginalized communities are worsened by discrimination according to race, sex, and other socioeconomic issues. Some examples of structural barriers that sustain poverty in specific demographics are discriminatory policies and practices, racism, and sexism.

Therefore, tackling this issue necessitates thorough consideration and investigation of the underlying systematic contributors to sustaining poverty. However, concentrating on the expansion of the economy will only be adequate if the embedded structural imbalances are resolved so as to eliminate poverty. Then, the following sections will examine how poverty is related to different dimensions of social life, like health, education, marital relationships, and imprisonment that form an interlaced complex to maintain poverty’s continuity in the United States.

Impact on Health

Poverty has far-reaching consequences beyond limiting people’s income and affecting their most important well-being, including health. Poverty and its Impact on Human Outcomes This section will look at how poverty affects one’s health using reliable resources like the American Journal of Public Health, among other credible sources.

Relationship Between Poverty and Health Outcomes: Studies reviewed in the American Journal of Public Health reveal a remarkable link between poverty and poor health outcomes. People in poverty generally tend to suffer from high stress associated with the unstable economy, lack of medical facilities, and toxic environment. They lead to different types of health problems, such as higher incidence of chronic diseases, mental illnesses, and shorter lifespans.

In addition, lack of money for acquiring the required medical supplies affects their ability to acquire quality health care services. ( Research shows that there are delays associated with impoverished persons deciding to visit a clinic, which could worsen a problem, thus ending up paying higher hospital bills than necessary.

Disparities in Healthcare Access and Health Status: Poverty is worsening the existing inequities between the people who can afford complete health care and people experiencing poverty, leading to a dualistic system of healthcare provision. Healthcare disparities are also manifested in statistics showing varied care levels for different socio-economic groups.

Government reports and studies from reliable health organisations like the CDC and which bring out these disparities. For example, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics releases reports showing poverty’s effects on health outcomes and necessitates specialized measures to mitigate such disparities.

A narrow medical program cannot address the health consequences of poverty, and there must be more than just health care reform required in response at the societal level and that which addresses the origin of the impoverished state at its core. Subsequent sections shall examine how poverty is linked to education, marriage, and incarceration, disclosing how America’s social class determines several elements of people’s lives (Travis et al., 2014).

Impact on Education

Poverty has a tremendous effect on education, leading to numerous challenges in lives as well as continuing cycles of poverty. This portion of our article shall delineate barriers experienced by students in poverty as depicted in NCES studies, plus some credible materials.

Challenges Faced by Students in Poverty: Low-income students face many problems that hinder their learning. The continuing disparity in academic performance between destitute students’ and their affluent counterparts is attributed to limited availability and poor quality of educational resources, inferior school infrastructure, and lack of requisite academic support systems.

Solving how poverty affects education is more complicated than what occurs within the educational system only. In succeeding chapters, this paper addresses poverty, marriage, and privatization and examines Republican and Democratic views toward poverty (Travis et al., 2014).

Effects on marriage and family

Marriage and family structures are influenced by poverty through socioeconomics, and they create differences in stability. This section will consider sociological views of social class and marital relationships concerning some scholarly articles, including the American Sociological Review.

Sociological Perspective on Social Class and Marriage Patterns: In the American Sociological Review, research indicates how social class impacts U.S. marriage patterns. The nature of marriage has much to do with economics, with people from divergent socioeconomic levels living in marriage differently.

Research shows that those people in a higher social class are usually well-resourced, financially secure, and have better support systems, which help ensure their marriage is more stable. On the other hand, some people living in the lower class can have instability in their marriage and family structure due to insecurities about money and few resources at home, among others (Hunt, 2016).

Effects of Poverty on Marital Stability and Family Dynamics: This is because poverty comes with an extra burden, which tends to put too much pressure on marriage, making its impact on family life. People struggling with financial problems, lack of education, and employment challenges, as well as their social problems, result in increased marital instabilities, especially those living in poverty.

Studies on divorce rates, single parenting, and the impact of this on children are undertaken to expound the complex relationship between poverty and families. The dynamics surrounding this question can be found in academic journals such as the Journal of Marriage and Family, which stress the importance of holistic social policies aimed at economic determinants of family stability.

It is also important to know the effect of poverty on spouses to develop specific measures designed to eradicate its root factors. Subsequent sections will explore how poverty interweaves with imprisonment, which constitutes a cycling aspect between socio-economic standing and the criminal justice system, which takes different paths depending on each party’s perspective.

Impact on Incarceration

Poverty and imprisonment are intricate, circular correlations involving economic aspects and societal justice. This section establishes the connection between poverty and criminal justice involvement by relying on academic research and official government reports.

Link Between Poverty and Criminal Justice Involvement: Poverty is associated with many challenges that individuals in this group live with; for instance, they barely receive quality education and find good jobs. When coupled with systemic problems like discriminatory policies, these challenges increase the chances of engagement with the criminal justice system.

Criminology journal sources and the Bureau of Justice statistics illustrate the significant number of economically disadvantaged people involved in the criminal justice system. Poverty is linked to incarceration due to factors like insufficient economic prospects, absence of lawyer facilities, and systemic prejudice in prisons and jails (Kimberlin & Berrick, 2015).

Systemic Issues Contributing to a Cycle of Poverty and Incarceration: There are cases where poverty and incarceration occur cyclically, with one influencing the other. People who have undergone imprisonment often encounter certain difficulties when they resume living in their community, which include a lack of jobs and being discriminated against. As a result, people get locked in a vicious circle of poverty and imprisonment owing to these difficulties, leading to an increased likelihood of repeat offending.

For example, academic research like the one found in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency explains the systematic problems that support this cycle. This entails full-scale reforms in the criminal justice system that target eliminating or reducing recidivism and efforts geared toward successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Understanding how poverty affects incarceration will be crucial in finding comprehensive solutions that break the cycle and promote social economy advancement. The following chapters shall analyze Republican versus Democrat approaches to fighting poverty in America. This section offers information about the policy stances involved in national discussions on poverty eradication.

VII. Republican Approach to Poverty

The principles advocated for by the Republican Party in the USA are based on individual responsibilities, fewer government interventions, the growth of jobs, and the creation of economic policies. The Republican Party manifesto reveals much about how the party intends to fight poverty.~:

Emphasis on Individual Responsibility and Limited Government Intervention: In such a case, the Republican stance towards the issue of poverty is usually based upon individual responsibility. Critics suggest that personality-based actions help overcome those social-economic challenges. Such a party is likely to support pro-poor programs that target enterprise development, creating jobs, as well as the self-reliance approach to overcoming poverty.

Democratic Approach to Poverty

It is believed that through education, a person can get skills leading to greater-paying jobs and better economic outcomes. Again, this issue is vital in ensuring that there will be a healthy and effective workforce.

Policies Addressing Income Inequality: This is one pillar in the Democrats’ way of tackling poverty. Supporters of these measures believe that progressive taxation and measures to guarantee equal wages may create a more egalitarian society.

Amongst them are proposals on raising minimum wages, giving more rights to workers, implementing progressive taxation, and making sure the richest people and companies share in paying for public services and goods. It seeks to foster inclusion in the economy so that economic development gains are more equally distributed (Hunt, 2016).

On the other hand, the Democrats’ approach gives more weight to the government’s responsibility to eradicate poverty and wealth disparities. However, critics have pointed out a risk of excess expenditures on this issue and even a negative influence on economic development. The next part will compare both views and explain how they differ in tackling poverty in the USA.


The approaches above require bridging the existing ideological gap by identifying possible areas of bipartisanship. It would be possible to engage in joint projects on criminal justice reforms, provision of workforce development, and target interventions to improve the living standards of disadvantaged groups. Moving forward requires an all-encompassing and evidence-based methodology. Fighting poverty is about changing such systemic imbalances, offering access to education and health care, and establishing a welcoming ecosystem for investment. The United States should bring together different ideas from these two perspectives and create a society in which a person, no matter their social or financial status, has a chance of enjoying a full life. In this light of exploring poverty, we must stick to valid sources and researchers’ work and separate factual realities from commentaries. Through this act, we can offer input to ensure informed debate and meaningful policy formation for a fair society.


Hunt, M. O. (2016). Race, ethnicity, and lay explanations of poverty in the United States: Review and recommendations for stratification beliefs research. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity2(4), 393-401.

Kimberlin, S., & Berrick, J. D. (2015). Poor for how long? Chronic versus transient child poverty in the United States. Theoretical and Empirical Insights into Child and Family Poverty: Cross-National Perspectives, 141-158.

Tickamyer, A., Warlick, J., & Sherman, J. (Eds.). (2017). Rural poverty in the United States. Columbia University Press.

Travis, J., Western, B., & Redburn, F. S. (2014). The growth of incarceration in the United States: Exploring causes and consequences.


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