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7 Top Causes of Poverty in The U.S. Today

Updated: May 12, 2022

More and more American families are struggling with poverty, and while charitable organizations and government programs can help to a certain degree, there is a lot more to be done to eradicate poverty for good.

Supporting community projects that help to lift people out of poverty through education, training and employment is a great way to start doing your part to help those in need. But what causes poverty in the first place? Let’s take a look at 7 of the top root causes of poverty in the U.S. today:

1. No jobs, or not enough jobs

A lack of employment is a significant factor in determining the poverty levels in certain states and regions. Without a job, how can you earn money to pay your bills and feed your family? For those with a job at the lower end of the pay scale, they often earn barely enough to survive once their essential needs such as power, food and clothing are accounted for.

2. Lack of education

Whether it’s a lack of education (and this can be for a number of reasons), or a lack of access to it, for children and adults alike, education is the key to betterment, and without it, many facing poverty will struggle to ever lift themselves out of it.

3. Climate change

Droughts, floods, severe storms; all are the terrible consequences of climate change, and recovering from such catastrophic events can take years, especially for agricultural communities.

4. Social injustice

From racism to gender discrimination, while the U.S. has come a long way in recent years to combat social injustices such as these, it still has a long way yet to go to ensure that all social groups have access to education, job opportunities and access to the resources they need to lift them out of poverty.

5. Lack of food

Thousands of children across the country go to school on empty stomachs, while just as many parents skip meals so that their kids can eat. Without sustenance, kids and adults alike are unable to concentrate, stay healthy, learn or work, and the combination of all these factors make poverty a very real burden for many.

6. Lack of access to healthcare

Without adequate insurance, millions of Americans are forced to suffer without access to the healthcare services they need, and with crippling medical bills for those who do seek help, the cost of being sick or injured, is a steep one.

7. Rising costs

From everyday consumables and essentials, to fuel and energy bills, more and more U.S. families are struggling to meet the financial demands of life, and are sinking deeper and deeper into poverty with every passing month.

Poverty can affect us all, and if someone in your community is struggling to make ends meet, why not see if there’s something you can do to help them? One way to do so is by supporting your local Goodwill organization. Goodwill uses the funds from sold items to offer free career and skills training programs to those in need. From individuals with disabilities to those with barriers to employment (previous incarceration, language barriers, etc.) Goodwill helps them gain the skills needed to break the cycle of poverty. Simply by donating items to a thrift store, or even shopping in one, you can make a positive contribution to an organization that has helped thousands of individuals right in your community.

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