Poverty threshold

The poverty line defines a low income, below which the acquisition of all vital resources is no longer possible, so there is poverty.


The numerical value of the poverty line varies by different costs of living from place to place, is usually within a country in the vicinity of a fixed value, but can vary within a country in different regions, such as between urban and rural areas or areas with warm and cold climates.


Since in almost all societies poverty is unavoidable, the poverty level in the economy is an important measure to express to poverty in numbers. It is not in the interest of society, that a large proportion of their members living below the poverty line and thus have a negative impact on economic growth. The percentage of population living below the poverty line is called the poverty rate.


The poverty line is determined by the essential resources that an average adult consumes in a year, considered and their costs are summed. The biggest cost is usually rented or land prices. For this reason, economists judge their attention particularly on the real estate market as an important factor influencing the level of the poverty line.

The World Bank defines the poverty line fixed at one U.S. dollar per day - roughly one-sixth of the world population lives in poverty.

Relative poverty lines

The EU statisticians define those less from the median of the net equivalent income as

  • Have 70 percent available, at risk of poverty in situations of social risk ( 'precarious prosperity " ),
  • 60 percent available, at risk of poverty,
  • Have 50 percent available than relative income poverty,
  • Have 40 percent available, as poor.

The WHO and the OECD define people by the median net equivalised disposable income less than

  • Have 50 percent available, as poor.

2011, the poverty line (60% of median income) in Germany at € 952 per month or € 11,426 per year.

In Switzerland, individuals who are less than about 1000 francs (about 822 euros ) can spend each month after paying the rental costs an expedient accommodation and health insurance premium, as poor apply.

Absolute poverty lines

In the U.S., the poverty line for a single person is currently at an annual income of $ 11,490, for a family of four is $ 23,550 (as of 2013). In the UK the poverty line (2010 ) was about £ 12,000 annual income.

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