Hello, today I'm going to talk about poverty.
Poverty has become a critical issue in today's world.
It concerns not only us sociologists, but also economists, politicians and business people.
Poverty has been understood in many different ways.
One useful way is to distinguish between three degrees of poverty: extreme poverty, moderate poverty, and relative poverty.
The first type of poverty is extreme poverty; it's also called absolute poverty.
In extreme poverty, households cannot meet basic needs for survival.
People are chronically hungry.
They are unable to access safe drinking water, let alone health care.
They cannot afford education for their children.
In short, people who live in extreme poverty do not have even the minimum resources to support themselves and their families.
Where does extreme poverty occur?
Well, you can find it only in developing countries.
Well, what about moderate poverty?
Unlike extreme poverty, moderate poverty generally refers to conditions of life in which basic needs are met but barely.
People living in moderate poverty have the resources to keep themselves alive, but only at a very basic level.
For example, they may have access to drinking water, but not clean, safe drinking water.
They may have a home to shelter themselves, but it does not have power supply, a telephone or plumbing.
The third kind of poverty is relative poverty.
Relative poverty is generally considered to be a household income level, which is below a given proportion of average family income.
The relatively poor live in high-income countries, but they do not have a high income themselves.
The method of calculating the poverty line is different from country to country,
but we can say that basically a family living in relative poverty has less than a percentage of the average family income.
For example, in the United States, a family can be considered poor if their income is less than 50% of the national average family income.
They can meet their basic needs, but they lack access to cultural guts, entertainment and recreation.
They also do not have access to quality health care, or other prerequisites for upward social mobility.
Well, I have briefly explained to you how poverty can be distinguished as extreme poverty, moderate poverty and relative poverty.
We should keep these distinctions in mind when we research people's living conditions, either in the developing or the developed world.
Questions 23 to 25 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 23: What does the speaker do?
Question 24: Where does the speaker say we can find extreme poverty?
Question 25: What do we learn about American people living in relative poverty?