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Primary poverty

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Primary poverty

Primary poverty is a categorization of poverty created by Seebohm Rowntree. Primary poverty is the name given to a group of people who live below Seebohm Rowntree's poverty line. To live in primary poverty is to have insufficient income to afford basic needs. According to his study in York 10% of the city’s population live in primary poverty. Rowntree describes this group as consistently having "insufficient financial resources to obtain the minimum necessities for the maintenance of mere physical existence".

The poverty line shows points where an individual might find themselves above or below the 'poverty line'- an idea Seebohm Rowntree developed from Charles Booth, the poverty line Rowntree drew has the age of the individual along the bottom, showing main events in the persons life that would affect whether or not they were above or below the poverty line. These events include becoming married; their children beginning to earn; when the children leave home and marry; finally when the individual is above the age where they can work. The three main areas on the line where the individual is said to be below the poverty line are from the ages 5-15, 30-40, and 65+.

See also

Further reading

  • Briggs, Asa: "A Study of the Work of Seebohm Rowntree: 1871-1954", Longmans, 1961
  • Rowntree, B S: "Poverty: A Study in Town Life", page 298. Macmillian and CO., 1901
  • University of Glasgow, Extracts from B. Seebohm Rowntree, Poverty: A Study of Town Life
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