The Extreme Poor in America


            America is one of the most advanced continents in the world. However, it grapples with extreme poverty like other countries. Poverty in America is most prevalent in the rural areas that include the southwest and southern parts. As such, many families here live below the poverty line earning at least $2 per day. Consequently, this makes it hard for families to survive on such income. Moreover, poverty affects women, young adults, and African Americans in equal measure. Research shows that most of the women concerned are single parents and young adults who do not receive any support from parents. Therefore, the impoverished citizens in this country face unemployment, low-income rates, and homelessness.

Social programs introduced in the country seek to reduce poverty. Additionally, the amount spent on programs compensates the jobless, provides affordable schools, builds shelters, and provides food and medical care. In most instances, low-income families have no access to education, health care, and constant food supply. Besides, they also live in high crime areas and are more likely to suffer from diseases. Other challenges include a high mortality rate and behavioral issues (Iceland). Therefore, social programs assist low-income families in having some basic needs that will enable them to enjoy a stable life. Poverty also leads to an increase in the rates of childhood poverty. Research shows that the USA ranks at number 36 based on percentages of childhood poverty in developed countries (“1.2 Billion”). Additionally, the increase in the number of school dropouts, teenage pregnancies, and lack of quality food has amplified the rate poverty in the U.S.  The destitution mostly affects children growing in rural areas compared to those in urban centers. Other problems encountered in rural areas are little or no access to employment opportunities and low levels of education. Therefore, various non-profit organizations like Save the Children ensure that all children are in school. Besides, they also help by protecting them, offering healthy meals, and sponsoring them in schools. Moreover, they also place them in homes where they are entitled to basic needs. Consequently, such decisions programs and policies minimize the effects of extreme poverty.

The wealth inequality also causes poverty in the US. For instance, the wealthy are extremely rich and own almost forty percent of the country’s wealth (Ingraham). Moreover, the gap grows more extensive and makes it hard for the poor to progress in life, especially since they do not have an equal opportunity for employment. Hence, the wealth variation gap is bad for the economy because it tends to increase the rate of poverty for the country. Also, it creates unfairness in society because the hard-working citizens do not receive wages that are equivalent to the amount of work. Affordable housing is another crisis of the extreme poor in America. Therefore, the repercussion for such a challenge is homelessness. It is difficult for a destitute person to afford a house and this leads to an increase in the number of people who live in shelters and the streets. As such, large cities are expensive, and this makes it difficult for poor citizens to afford decent homes. Besides, underprivileged individuals also receive minimal wages that make it harder for them to maintain families. In most cases, they have to take two or more jobs to provide the basic needs of the family. Consequently, the situation leads to criminal activities like stealing, prostituting, and drug trafficking as a means to earn a living.

In conclusion, the assignment has taught me to appreciate the little things in life. I have also learned that the outward appearance of a person does not matter if they cannot take care of the inward presence. America is among the most developed countries in the world, but it also struggles with poverty. As such, non-profit organizations like Save the Children assist in alleviating child poverty. Furthermore, reducing poverty among children gives them an opportunity to learn that poverty should not determine who you are. For America to make significant changes, it is essential to minimize the gap between the rich and the poor. Such progress will improve the economic growth of the country. Additionally, the government must create policies that make it easy for individuals to own houses. Thus, the challenge of homelessness in the city will be an issue of the past. It is also essential for the government to review the current remuneration policies to increase the minimum wage for all personnel. Additionally, the work done should commensurate with the salary given. Conversely, people today are working together as a community to find a solution for the extremely poor in the U.S.A. the resolutions include creating job opportunities, improving housing affordability, and strengthening the bond in a family.

Ten facts:

  1. Women, young adults, and African Americans are the most affected by poverty in America because of early pregnancies, and single parenting.
  2. Social programs help to reduce the country’s rate of poverty by compensating the unemployed, building shelters, and introducing medical care.
  3. The US is the 36th of all the developed countries to have high rates in child poverty
  4. Child poverty is higher in rural areas than in urban areas in the U.S
  5. The southern and southwestern states are the most affected by poverty in the country
  6. Non-profit organizations such as Save the Children assist by reducing the rate of child poverty by making sure all the children go to school.
  7. Poverty in the U.S is a result of the wealth imbalance gap. For example, the wealthy are extremely rich and own almost forty percent of the country’s wealth
  8. Affordable housing is another crisis of the extreme poor in America which leads to homelessness
  9. The large cities have a high cost of living and its close to impossible to afford a beautiful home, and the number of homeless Americans increases daily
  10. The extreme poor in America experience low job wages which makes it hard to maintain a family or a standard in society


Supporting Video

3multiple choice questions

  1. What is the number one cause of homelessness?
  2. Lack of affordable housing
  3. Wealth imbalance gaps
  4. Low wages jobs
  5. Social programs
  6. Which non-profitable organization is helping to reduce the childhood poverty rates?
  7. UNEP
  8. UNHCR
  10. WHO


  1. Which areas experience extreme poverty in America?
  2. North and South
  3. East and South West
  4. West and South
  5. South West and South

One essay/discussion questions :

Do you agree that America has indigent people? Provide reasons for your answer.



Iceland, John. Poverty in America: A Hand Book. University of California Press, 2003, p. 3.

“1.2 Billion Childhoods Threatened By Conflict, Poverty, Gender Discrimination, New Save The Children Report Reveals”. Save The Children, 2018,

Ingraham, Christopher. The Washington Post. 2018,