Social workers and others involved in supporting persons and families in poverty find classification according to income level inadequate. Income poverty is only one dimension of the problem and may be a consequence as often as a cause of the underlying problem, which may be unemployment, physical or mental impairment and handicap, environmental conditions such as severe prolonged drought, or disruption of or dispossession from customary habitat, e.g., by violent conflict. Behavioral scientists further distinguish features that include social and cultural poverty, i.e., lack of connectedness to society and community, and moral poverty, i.e., absence of moral values, such as attachment to family and others. Disparity across income groups, as measured by the Gini coefficient, is used with the classification system.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.