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Article was revised to include the latest census data, and bibliography expanded and updated to reflect recent research.

Updated on 03 Sep 2013. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 25 September 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Poverty has been a subject of concern since the beginnings of social work. This entry reviews three key research areas. First, the extent and dynamics of poverty are examined, including the measurement of poverty, patterns of cross-sectional and comparative poverty rates, the longitudinal dynamics of poverty, and poverty as a life-course risk. Second, reasons for poverty are discussed. These are divided into individual versus structural level explanations. The concept of structural vulnerability is offered as a way of bridging key individual and structural determinants in order to better understand the existence of poverty. Third, strategies and solutions to poverty are briefly reviewed.

Keywords: causes of poverty, human capital, labor market, life course, poverty dynamics, poverty measures, poverty rates, residential segregation, social welfare state, solutions to poverty, structural vulnerability

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