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relative poverty

Definition of Relative Poverty

(noun) A type of poverty that is determined by income distribution over a given population and defined according to societal norms.

Example of Relative Poverty

  • An individual with a low income, owns a used car while their neighbor has a higher income and just bought a new car.

Relative Poverty Pronunciation

Usage Notes

  • Plural: relative poverties
  • Relative poverty is contrasted to absolute poverty. Relative poverty is a subjective assessment and absolute poverty is an objective measurement.
  • Also called secondary poverty.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

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Cite the Definition of Relative Poverty

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “relative poverty.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 24, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/relative-poverty/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

relative poverty. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/relative-poverty/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “relative poverty.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 24, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/relative-poverty/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“relative poverty.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/relative-poverty/>.