What Are Some Causes and Effects of Poverty?

Some leading causes of poverty include warfare, corruption, food dumping, wasteful agriculture and environmental degradation. Other causes are poor management of local resources, high population density, information illiteracy, world hunger and national debt. Another cause of poverty is the unfair rules of trade where large corporations and a few wealthy countries formulate trade rules that favor them and disfavor the poor countries.

According to a study done by the International Food Study Institute, some of the leading causes of poverty in some countries included the inability of destitute households to afford education and property. The study showed that ethnic minorities, women and people with health problems and disabilities were among the most destitute in the surveyed societies.

Poverty also has many negative effects. For example, children brought up in poor households have emotional and behavioral problems, such as aggression, depression, low self-esteem and attention deficit disorder. Other consequences of poverty include homelessness, substandard housing, inadequate nutrition, hunger, starvation and lack of access to education. Poverty-related diseases such as malaria, cholera, measles, tuberculosis, polio and AIDS can also result.

Crime, alcoholism and substance abuse are also closely linked with poverty. Young adults brought up in poor households often have drug abuse problems and more often than not engage in criminal activities, such as stealing.