Individuals and/or Families below the Poverty Level

Poverty has been a social issue for many individuals and families throughout the centuries, and it continues to be a serious social problem in modern day. The two main issues that contribute to families remaining below the poverty level are lack of education and lack of jobs that provide adequate income. The lack of education and low incomes are factors that affect poverty because individuals and families cannot make enough money to change their income level to move them above the poverty line, and without higher education peoples opportunities to improve their income level is limited in today?s society. Our government has had many presidents, congress officials, and policy changes but not one entity has found the solution to eliminate or reduce the number of families and individuals living below the poverty level.
Poverty is a state of being poor; it is a state of not having enough money to take care of the individuals and families basic needs of survival such as food, clothing, and shelter. There are three different types of poverty by definition: biological poverty, relative poverty, and official poverty. Biological poverty occurs when there is starvation and malnutrition within a society or family, relative poverty is considered living below the standards of society or as those who lack what is needed by most Americans to live decently because the earn less than half of the nations median income, and official poverty refers to the income level or lack thereof that individuals are declared to be living in the state of poverty. If you are in official poverty you are eligible for welfare benefits, you live below the poverty line, and our considered poor (Henslin, 2009). Poverty is also considered the lack of things for survival such as food, clothing, shelter, and drinking water; these are the essential elements in life that every human being should be entitled too. Some sociologists consider poor to be the deprivation of goods and services that others in wealthier circumstances in society take for granted. Poverty can have detrimental effects on those that live in that situation. Poverty affects a person?s state of mind, health and nutrition. Poverty affects the type of education and housing that families and individuals may be able to obtain. Poverty also causes violence and crimes to occur in higher rates because this is an effort for the people to rise amongst their situation. If they are unable to earn a living the honest way, then they may be forced to steal and kill for what is needed to meet their survival.
In 2008, the poverty threshold that determined poverty levels for the average family of four consisting of two adults and two children under the age of eighteen was less than $22,017; a single, nonelderly person was poor if their income before taxes was $11,201 or less (Cancian, Danziger, 2009). These figures to not take into account the need for funds to pay for shelter, the cost of food, cost of clothing, or the cost of everyday living. The combinations of factors like lack of education and lack of income contributing to poverty makes this social issue almost impossible to conquer and overcome within our society. One factor directly or indirectly affects the other, which means that you have to address several different issues at one time in order to improve the poverty situation within our nation. Some families have individual issues that may prevent them from rises above the poverty level, but many of the social issues that affect poverty levels are universal and affects many families the same.
Lack of education is one of the key sociological issues that affect families that live in poverty within a society. Low education levels of a parent and/or parents increase the likelihood of the production of a low income family. The national poverty rate among families headed by a person with less than a high school education is 24%, for those with some college education it is 7% and for those with at least a bachelor?s degree it is 2% (fightpoverty, 2006). The website fight poverty states that 73% of children whose parents do not have a high school diploma and nationally 43% of people with low literacy skills live in low-income households (fightpoverty, 2006). It is also found that children who are raised by parents that have limited