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Related: February - 2006
Poverty is understood in many senses. The main understandings of the term include
- Descriptions of material need, typically including the necessities for daily living (eg. food, clothing, shelter, education and health care), relative to some other reference group. Poverty in this sense may be understood as the deprivation of essential goods and services, multiple deprivation, or patterns of deprivation over time.
- Economic circumstances, describing a lack of wealth (usually understood as capital, money, material goods, or resources, especially natural resources). The meaning of "sufficient" varies widely across the different political and economic parts of the world. In the European Union, poverty is also described in terms of "economic distance", or inequality.
- Social relationships, including social exclusion, dependency, and the ability to live what is understood in a society as a "normal" life: for instance, to be capable of raising a healthy family, and especially educating children and participating in society.
Those who live in conditions of poverty lack a wide range of economic and other resources and may be described as "poor" or "impoverished". Some see the term as subjective and comparative, others see it as moral and evaluative, while others consider that it is scientifically established (see income inequality metrics). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty [Feb 2006]
Wealth is an abundance of items of economic value, or the state of controlling or possessing such items, and encompasses money, real estate and personal property. In many countries wealth is also measured by reference to access to essential services such as health care, or the possession of crops and livestock. An individual who is wealthy or rich is someone who has accumulated substantial wealth relative to others in their society or reference group.
The term implies a social contract on establishing and maintaining ownership in relation to such items which can be invoked with little or no effort and expense on the part of the owner (see means of protection).
The concept of wealth is relative and not only varies between societies, but will often vary between different sections or regions in the same society. For example, a personal net worth of US $1,000,000 in most parts of the United States Midwest would certainly place a person among the wealthiest citizens, yet the same net wealth would be considered quite modest on New York City's Upper East Side or in the Connecticut suburbs. However, such amounts would constitute extraordinary wealth in impoverished developing countries. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth [Feb 2006]
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