The most common and easiest way to present poverty is as insufficient income to reach a certain minimum standard of living. However, the characteristics of poverty include the degree of dissatisfaction with a set of basic human needs. In addition, the multidimensional nature of poverty makes it necessary that for its measurement, different methods and indicators must be considered. Here are some key features of poverty:


  • Health

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “achieving the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”


  • Education

    In recent years, the demand for education has increased. The UNESCO´s Education report for all indicated that investment in education suffered severe financial cuts, this being an obstacle to meeting targets for universal education by 2015. With increased unemployment and declining wages, poor and vulnerable families are being forced to reduce spending on the education of their children, or even to make them drop school. According to the UN, poverty remains a major barrier to education, especially among older girls.

  • Incomegresos económicos

    The economic issue is vital to poverty: the World Bank defines poverty as “the inability to reach a minimum standard of living”, establishing a level “based on consumption” consisting of two elements. On one side, “the spending required to access a minimum standard of nutrition and other very basic needs,” on the other, “an amount that varies from one country to another and reflects the cost of participating in daily life societies”. (World Bank 1990: 26)

  • Child poverty

    “The boys and girls living in poverty [are those who] suffer a deprivation of the material, spiritual and emotional resources required to survive, grow and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full members and equal partners in society” (UNICEF, 2005, p.18).

    Currently, one billion children - more than half of boys and girls in developing countries - cannot enjoy their rights because they lack of at least one of the basic goods and services that allow them to survive, develop and prosper.


If you want more information on Health, visit:
Mortality and health status

Life expectancy at birth

Global health observatory

If you want more information on Income, visit:
Countries and their economies

Database according to topics

Database according to indicators

If you want more information on Education, visit

If you want more information on Child poverty, visit: