Why Does Poverty Exist?

There is no single cause of poverty. Rather, there are multiple causes that are linked and compounding. Poverty can strike during an unexpected crisis: a serious health problem, job loss, or divorce. These crises can be particularly debilitating when compounded by other risk factors such as low education, limited skills training, lack of savings, or lack of family supports. Poverty can result from personal struggle – physical, mental, or emotional – and many people experiencing poverty are faced with a lack of emotional, psychological or financial support. Poverty also exists because of bigger systems: changing market demand for skills or labour, gaps in social safety nets, the high costs of education and health, or because of systemic discrimination. Poverty exists for all these interlocking reasons and is compounded by the interaction of causes and effects.

Publication Date: 
Calgary, AB