Impacts of Poverty on Urban or Rural Areas

Poverty is a multifaceted occurrence that is evident in both rural and urban areas. The gravity of the problem cannot be underestimated, which is why it is vital to put in place effective policies and programs. According to Oxfam International, a global body in charge of promoting anti-poverty campaigns and programs, appropriately nine points one percent of the world’s population is faced with abject poverty (Megbowon, 2018). Although it is easy to suppose that both rural and urban poverty are fundamentally the same, this strategy will fail since they are fundamentally different. A breakdown of impacts of poverty in urban or rural areas and possible solutions form the basis of discussion for this paper.

Rural poverty is a systemic issue that affects the entire community, whereas urban poverty is always found close to wealthier neighbors. The nature and underlying causes of rural poverty in the United States are significantly different from those of urban poverty, which is why effective solutions can only be implemented if they are deliberately targeted at rural communities and not poverty in general. The poverty reduction methods focused on education, race, and employment are more appropriate for urban poverty, but they are ineffective against rural type since the latter requires minimization of social exclusion, higher direct involvement of federal government, and agricultural aid, such as commercial farms.

Different case studies document that rural poverty is more impactful and dangerous for society due to a higher degree of vulnerability in these communities. The unavailability of social amenities such as schools, hospitals, and other essential service providers makes it difficult for people living in marginalized locations to access fundamental care and education (McAreavey & Brown, 2019). Similarly, the underdeveloped infrastructure in such areas hinders the free movement of goods and services. As a result, few investors are willing to risk their projects in rural areas, fearing the low risk to reward ratio that could result in losses. In the long run, there are very few job opportunities available due to underdevelopment. Households are compelled to travel to urban areas to access goods and services, making them incur additional transport costs. A poor communication network is rampant in marginalized areas a

It is important to note that effective solutions to rural poverty are not the same as to urban poverty due to their differential natures. However, poverty in rural regions is often overlooked and not given a proper level of awareness as well as acknowledgment due to the physical isolation of such communities (Lucci, Bhatkal & Khan, 2018). The government considers the marginalized populace less affected, leading to unequal distribution and allocation of national income to alleviation measures against poverty. According to (Cosby et al., 2018), rural poverty has the same root causes as urban poverty. Cases such as landlessness are a common cause of poverty in both marginalized and cosmopolitan areas. Other causes like inadequate healthcare facilities and natural calamities for instance floods have been responsible for an increase in poverty rates for both rural and urban residents. Concurrently, global pandemics like COVID-19 result in severe economic recession and unfavorable business cycles that affect individuals regardless of their localities. Poverty needs to be addressed as a whole rather than focusing on its subcategories.

Several effective policies can eliminate both urban and rural poverty without the need for differential analysis. For instance, initiating more development projects across the country has the effect of creating more job opportunities for citizens. When more people are employed, the national per capita income increases. This improves the purchasing power of individuals since a majority of them can afford to pay for their basic needs (David et al., 2018). In the long run, aggregate demand increases, forcing manufacturing industries to produce more to cater to the larger market. The government, through financial institutions, can provide loans at affordable interest rates to citizens. These financial aids should be accompanied by friendly obligations such as a favorable repayment period and few collateral requirements. Individuals in both rural and urban areas can use such borrowings to venture into businesses thus promoting entrepreneurial culture and self-employment.

In conclusion, federal governments should consider both rural and urban poverty as equal, and formulate policies that would help eradicate poverty. The strategies can include but are not limited to:

  1. Equal distribution of national income to rural and urban areas during budget preparation. Authorities should increase the level of public expenditure in rural areas because the implication of poverty in these areas is more severe compared to towns.
  2. The government should encourage and support not-for-profit organizations that carry out community-based initiatives in rural areas to facilitate their operations. Poverty alleviation projects proposed by NGOs should be financed by the government including funding direct and indirect costs associated with these initiatives.
  3. Authorities should focus on reducing rural-urban migration by providing job opportunities to people living in rural areas (Guo, Zhou & Liu, 2019). This would reduce the pressure exerted on resources available in cities and towns as well as eliminate factors such as housing shortages, unavailability of clean water, and unemployment that trigger poverty in urban centers.
  4. Individuals should be encouraged to save more to have enough money to sustain them after retirement and for speculative motives. This would reduce the budget proportion allocated towards financing pension schemes.


Cosby, A. G., McDoom-Echebiri, M. M., James, W., Khandekar, H., Brown, W., & Hanna, H. L. (2018). Growth and persistence of place-based mortality in the United States: The rural mortality penalty. American Journal of Public Health, 1, 1-8.

David, A., Guilbert, N., Hamaguchi, N., Higashi, Y., Hino, H., Leibbrandt, M., & Shifa, M. (2018). Spatial poverty and inequality in South Africa: A municipality level analysis.

Guo, Y., Zhou, Y., & Liu, Y. (2019). Targeted poverty alleviation and its practices in rural China: A case study of Fuping County, Hebei Province. Journal of Rural Studies.

Lucci, P., Bhatkal, T., & Khan, A. (2018). Are we underestimating urban poverty? World Development, 103, 297-310.

McAreavey, R., & Brown, D. (2019). Comparative analysis of rural poverty and inequality in the UK and the US. Palgrave Communications, 5(1), 1-13.

Megbowon, E. (2018). Multidimensional poverty analysis of urban and rural households in South Africa. StudiaUniversitatisBabeș-BolyaiOeconomica, 63(1), 3-19.

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