How Were People Affected in the Great Depression?

The Great Depression caused many people to lose their sources of income and become impoverished. Birth rates dropped because people could not afford to care for children, and divorce rates dropped because people could not afford legal fees. Many couples postponed weddings due to a lack of finances.

As unemployment rates soared, many men were forced to rely on women and children to overcome financial hardships. Some men were not able to cope with their feelings of shame and their lack of self-respect. This caused many husbands to abandon their families. Women gained an increase in social status and power in the home, giving them a stronger domestic voice than they had previously. This permanently altered the traditional way people viewed American family life at the time.

The stock market crashed in 1929, and by 1933, over 40 percent of banks had collapsed. This caused strict trading policies and regulations to be implemented. The majority of people were negatively affected financially, although some extremely wealthy people were able to escape unscathed.

The Great Depression had residual effects lasting well after it ended. Many people who lived through the Great Depression stuck to frugal habits, hoarded food and distrusted banks and the stock market. Many farmers abandoned their farmland and moved to urban centers.