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What Factors Contribute to a Low Standard of Living?

Standards of living and poverty thresholds vary substantially from region to region, as well as from country to country.
Natural disasters like flooding can cause poverty and crimes rates to rise.
Individuals who earn more tend to have a higher standard of living, and therefore a higher cost of living.
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  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2014
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The standard of living is a measurement that takes into account the wealth of a segment of society, as well as that population's access to basic services, amenities, and expendable income. A low standard of living means that segment of the population may not have much wealth or access to basic services and amenities. Factors that can contribute to a low living standards include lack of adequate industry in a particular area, lack of jobs, insufficient health care services, lack of public transportation, lack of food or water, government oppression, and many more factors.

The life expectancy of a particular segment of society may also contribute to a low standard of living. People who have less access to quality foods and clean homes, cities, and countries generally die earlier than people in more developed areas that offer good food and cleanliness. People in these poorer areas also tend to be less satisfied with their lives, which can contribute to increased morbidity. Crime rates can begin to rise, further exacerbating the low standard of living in an area and potentially leading to an increase in mortality rates. Lack of public services such as police and fire crews can perpetuate the high crime rates as well.

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Such poverty and high crime rates can be caused by several factors, including government corruption, lack of funding for basic public services, occurrence of natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and hurricanes, or isolation from other societies. Corrupt governments exist throughout the world, and the general populace of that country can suffer immensely. The distribution of wealth in a country can be skewed so that very few people have the most money, while the majority of people must make ends meet with very little. This can lead to unrest in society, anger toward the government, and upheaval that leads to even more strife in an area.

War is perhaps the biggest contributing factor to a low standard of living. War-torn areas tend to suffer immensely both during and after the war has taken place, and it can take decades for a society to rebuild after battles have taken place. Mortality rates are likely to rise significantly during and after a war, and access to basic services such as health care is likely to be limited for long periods of time. Destruction of buildings, roads, and other properties is likely, and families may be displaced for months or years on end.

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anon954469
Post 4

"Is there a perfect country?" That's the one and only question we need to ask while our leaders spend money like crazy.

discographer
Post 3

I think the most important factors affecting the standard of living is the cost of food and the availability of food.

Why do the African American neighborhoods in Washington DC have some of the lowest standards of living in America? There are many factors like availability of jobs, crime, cost of housing, but the most basic one is food. Did you know that most African American neighborhoods in DC don't have a grocery store? People can't buy vegetables! Some neighborhoods rely on gas stations to buy milk and bread.

I think this is embarrassing for all of us. We need to improve the standard of living in Washington DC.

burcidi
Post 2

@ysmina-- I think that for the most part, they are the same. I mean, everyone needs food, water, shelter and health care, regardless of where they are. But the local conditions and circumstances in a country can affect the standard of living differently.

For example, the standard of living in the US is much higher than most countries in the world. But it also has its weaknesses. For example, public transportation is very limited and even nonexistent in some rural areas. If someone doesn't own a car in a village in Ohio, he might have to walk for miles to buy milk and bread. But most Americans own cars, so they don't experience difficulty with transportation.

At the same time, someone in India might not have a transportation problem, but might have difficulty bringing food home because of the lack of jobs.

So the factors that lower the standard of living depend on that place and the conditions there.

ysmina
Post 1

Are the factors that contribute to a low standard of living the same in every country?

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