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Poverty In Indonesia

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 3606 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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First of all, poverty is the greatest social problems in the world. The word “poverty” itself has a meaning, which is the ‘condition of having income and/or wealth so low, resulting in a minimum standard of living condition. In its most extreme form, poverty can be defined as lack of basic human needs, insufficient of resources, both material and non-material, such as income, housing, health services, education, knowledge and culture.’

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Next, according to The World Bank, poverty can be measure by 3 ways, firstly define the welfare measures, secondly choose and estimate a poverty line, lastly choose and estimate a poverty indicator. Welfare is divided into two parts, non monetary and monetary. ‘To estimating monetary measures of poverty, have to choose between income or consumption as the indicator. Consumption will be a better indicator for poverty measurement than income. Poverty is not only about insufficient income or consumption, but also insufficient outcomes such as health, nutrition and literacy, deficient social relations, insecurity, low self-confidence and powerlessness. Poverty lines are cut-off points separating the poor from the non-poor. They can be monetary or non-monetary. The use of multiple lines can help to see clearly the different levels of poverty. There are two ways of setting poverty lines in a relative or absolute way. There are 3 measures that commonly used to measuring poverty; incidence of poverty (headcount index), depth of poverty (poverty gap), and poverty severity (squared poverty gap).’

Poverty is social phenomenon which has many causes of it. ‘Primary factors that may lead to poverty include overpopulation, the unequal distribution of resources in the world economy, inability to meet high standards of living and costs of living,  inadequate education and employment opportunities, environmental degradation, certain economic and demographic trends, and welfare incentives.’

‘Overpopulation is the situation of having a large numbers of people, but the resources are too few and the space is too little. Overpopulation is caused by high population density. The legacy of colonialism has an impact in unequal distribution of resources in the world economy. Some social scientists argue that wealthier developed countries continue to practice a form of colonialism, known as neocolonialism, developed countries have been able to get natural resources from poorer countries. People in developed nations may have more wealth and resources than those in developing countries; their standard of living is also generally higher. There are difference standards of living between developing and developed countries. People would be considered adequate wealth and resources in developing countries may be considered poor in developed countries. Developed countries also tend to have a high cost of living.’

‘In poor countries, lack of education and illiteracy are very common. Governments of developing countries often cannot afford to provide for good public schools, Even in developed countries, unemployment rates may be high. High unemployment leads to high levels of poverty.’

‘In many parts of the world, environmental degradation is an important cause of poverty. Environmental problems have led to lack of food, clean water, materials for shelter, and other essential resources. As forests, land, air, and water are degraded, people who live without these natural resources will suffer most from the effects.’

‘Economic trends are also cause of poverty that happens in the developing countries. Some countries might experience strong income growth in this period, but in the other period those countries experience low income growth. Periods of economic recession affects young and less-educated people, who may have difficulty finding occupations. Changes in labor markets in developed countries have also contributed to increased poverty levels.’

‘In addition, many people in developed countries blame cycles of poverty, or the tendency for the poor to remain poor, on overly generous welfare programs. This generous welfare programs are not supported. Including some politicians argue against government to stop giving money to the poor. They believe that these programs will make people to stay poor in order to continue receiving payments and other support.’

‘Furthermore, poverty has wide-ranging and often devastating effects. It is resulting in poor nutrition and health problems, infant mortality rates among the poor are higher than average, and life expectancies are lower than average. Other effects of poverty may include infectious disease, mental illness, and drug dependence. The effects of poverty can bring other further effect. For instance, Extended hunger and lack of employment may lead to depression, and may contribute to criminal behavior.’

‘Malnutrition is one of the most common effects of poverty. In developing countries, the poorest people can not get enough calories to maintain their appropriate body weight. the long term effects of malnutrition is starvation, then prolonged starvation almost always results in death.’

‘In addition to the effects of malnutrition, the poor experience high rates of infectious disease. Inadequate place for shelter creates conditions that promote disease. Without protection, many of the poor will exposed the infectious disease easily and dangerous weather as well as to bacteria and viruses carried by other people and animals.’

‘In most developed countries, rates of mental illness are highest among the poor. The most common disorders are depression and anxiety disorders. It can be happened because the poor experience high rates of severe mental illness, Mental illness is resulting to high rates of suicide. Some poor people try to relieve feelings of anxiety and depression associated by consuming drugs. A common drug among the poor is alcohol, which is legal and affordable. Many of those become dependent on drinking, and become alcoholism. Others use and often become addicted to more dangerous and often illegal drugs.’

‘Some experts believe that poverty leads people to do the acts of violence and crime. Anger, desperation, and the need for money for food, shelter, and other. Those kind of emotional feeling may all contribute to criminal behavior among the poor. Moreover, people who grow up in poverty may experience lifelong problems because of it. In fact, studies have shown that people who grow up in persistently poor households experience more difficulties throughout their lives than those who raised in households that are above the poverty level.’

‘Before the beginning of recorded history, poverty has become a main concern in societies. “According to sociologists and anthropologists, social stratification-the division of a society into a hierarchy of wealth, power, and status-was a defining characteristic of the earliest civilizations, including those of ancient Egypt, Sumer in the Middle East, and the Indus Valley of what is now India.” The powerful and wealthy members of this civilizations often to treat the poor unwell, and make them as slaves.’

To be connected with poor people, Babylon, Talmudic, and the writings of early Christian from later times beg the poor with resources and good fortune. When powerful nations of Western civilization was established, the relationship was built between the poor and nonpoor into law. “The present-day welfare systems of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada evolved from a 17th-century British legal act known commonly as the Poor Laws.”

“The rise of civilizations also led to stratification among nations and territories around the globe.” The powerful and wealthy nation built empires by using energy and resources from the less powerful territories. Through 2 colonial periods, counties in Western Europe, United States, and Japan made colonial territories in Asia, Africa, and Americas. The purpose of this colonization is to spread religion, and as a strategic place to against rivals. Some of the Western European countries used their colonial territories to supply goods for trade and consumption during the first period of colonialism. In the second period of colonialism, the industrial revolution brought many mechanized production to delivered to many nations. Industrialized countries relied on colonies to provide them all materials that needed to support those countries achieving much larger quantities of goods and resources.Smaller colonizing countries like Britain and the Netherlands, often to exploited the resources of the colonies. In other cases, The European countries sent request to West Africa, and as a result slaves will be shipped to the colonies of the Americas and Caribbean. Slaves also work as free labor in those countries.’

‘The nature of poverty in the developed countries are completely different compared to developing countries. In developed countries, the majority of people commonly earn over 200 times the per capita (per person) income of the poorest developing countries. For this reason, developed nations usually measure the income level of poverty as a portion of average income or as an amount below which a person or family that is not have capability to supply basic needs. For people with low or no income, it will lead to homelessness; those in less extreme poverty often live in substandard and sometimes dangerous housing. Many of the poor in the developed countries have high rate of crime and violence. Surprisingly, the United States which is known as wealth country has higher rates of poverty than most other developed countries. In fact, a study of 16 developed nations conducted in the early 1990s used a single measure for comparison: Poverty was defined as earning below half the median of all incomes. The results showed that the highest percentage is about 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in some degree of poverty. Followed by Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The percentage of rate were between 10 and 15 percent. Many of the other countries of western Europe-including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries (Finland, Norway, and Sweden)-all had poverty rates of between 5 and 8 percent.’

‘In some developed countries, poverty rates are higher among racial minorities. Native people in developed countries also suffer from extremely high rates of poverty. In the United States, many Native Americans get depression, and those people have to live and work on economically and experience high rates of joblessness and alcoholism. In Australia, many Aboriginal people live in similar conditions. Besides, many developing nations also experience poverty. In the past few decades, millions of people have suffered from famine. Poverty affects women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In many developing nations, women have low social status and it affects women’s education and career. Without adequate income, they commonly depend on men for support. In some developing countries, including in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, poor women immigrate to the other country to be sold into prostitution. Asian countries such as China, India, Korea, and Thailand have encouraging poor families to kill their female babies, known as female infanticide. These countries are overpopulated, and their cultures promote the belief that men will bring more advantages to families’ economy than women.’

‘However, neither poor families nor the governments of many developing countries can adequately support the nonworking. Poor children are suffer from many dangerous disease, and in some cases children sometimes untreated well, and being abused. Children also have very low social status, like women in many developing countries, children may be exploited as prostitutes or as workers.’

‘Africa includes some of the poorest countries in the world. In most of Africa south of Sahara, harsh environmental conditions that aggravate poverty conditions. Dry and barren land covers a wide area. As a poor, effort to try to agricultural and livings through subsistence practices of others, they are using soil of nutrients needed to grow crops. During this time has led to desertification, a process where once fertile land into desert. During the late 20th century, desertification contributes hunger in some African countries, including Somalia, Ethiopia, and Mali. Political instability and war in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa has also contributed to poverty. As a result of such factors, the number of people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 217 million in 1987 to more than 300 million in 1998.’

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‘In Latin America, which are generally poor Native Americans, people of African descent, and mestizo. The people of European descent living in Latin America generally have a standard of living higher. Political instability has contributed to poverty in many Latin American countries, including Chile, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama. These countries have been through long periods of military rule or dictatorship of the leaders who have the soil and natural resources and the ability of disabled people to make an adequate living. For years Caribbean country of Haiti has suffered economically. Large-scale urban poverty, marked unhealthy slums, plague cities like Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Mexico City. It is estimated that slightly more than 60 million people in this region in the world live in extreme poverty in 1998.’

‘In 1998, Asia accounted for roughly two-thirds of the world’s poorest 1.2 billion people. These people were all living on less than $ 1 per day. South Asia, the Indian subcontinent, including India, Nepal, and Bangladesh-had about 522 million people living in extreme poverty in 1996. India has the largest number of poor people than any country in the world-more than 300 million people, more than a third of the population. Caste system associated with Hinduism, the dominant religion in India, helping to preserve some of this poverty. This system made many poor families from generation to generation by setting certain groups of people to low status.’

‘Around 267 million people in East and Southeast Asia lived on less than $ 1 per day in 1998. China has a very large number of poor due to large size of the rural population. As the countries of Southeast Asia such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia also ranked among the poorest in the world.’

‘Some wars have contributed to poverty in South and East Asia. World War II (1939-1945) and the wars in Korea (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1959-1975) damaged the soil, plants, and forests; prevent many people from earning a living, and killing and dislocation of millions. At the end of the 20th century, government and industry in this area sponsored large-scale deforestation, mining, and damming projects damaged or hinder access to the forests, fields, and water resources. The projects also forced many people to leave their homes and fields, making them more into poverty.’

‘As stated before, Indonesia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Based on the statistic, only 16.7 percent of the population falling below the national poverty line in 2006, which is much larger than the household (49 percent) who live on or below the PPP U.S. $ 2-a-days. Approximately 32 percent of the population living among the national poverty line and U.S. $ 2-a-day line, which shares much higher than other countries in the region. Therefore, the risk that most households will fall below the poverty line, even if currently not poor. The clustering around the poverty line largely explains the high risk in any given year a significant portion of households that were not poor or near poor may fall below the poverty line.’

‘In Indonesia, there is a significant movement in and out of poverty. 38 percent of poor households in 2004 was not poor in the previous year. Income and expenditure shocks or rising prices of basic commodities can cause sudden changes in household poverty increases. Indonesia has the opportunity to overcome poverty. Social protection is a core part of development policy to fight poverty and improve equity.’National governments use poverty measurement to develop programs that provide assistance to the poor. All developed countries have broad antipoverty programs, especially in the form of social security and welfare systems. Most developing countries have some form of social security, but these programs usually do not provide enough to make a lot of people out of poverty. International organizations also use the measurement of poverty to decide how much money to give to the national government and how to advise countries on strategies to reduce poverty.’

‘The Indonesian government can only provide limited help to prevent some of poverty. However, that assistance does not fully help the community to reduce poverty. Most have at least minimal social security programs, which provide benefits during periods of unemployment, sickness, or disability; at the time of retirement, and to the family of the deceased worker. Program anti-poverty programs are usually in the top 2 sections. International Government Organizations and Government Aid Agencies.’

‘World International is also concerned about the poverty that plagued the world. Many government organizations have international antipoverty programs. This includes many regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States and the European Union, and the United Nations, which includes countries around the world. This is a form of cooperation in the countries around the world to fight poverty. with the United Nations operates many of the largest antipoverty programs through branch agencies. UN Development Program to run various programs in developing countries to improve literacy rates, create jobs, sharing of technology from developed to developing countries, protecting the environment and natural resources, and ensure the rights of women. UN agencies involved in other poverty alleviation in developing countries including the United Nations Children’s Fund, a program created specifically for children affected by poverty. that provide food, medicine, and education programs for children around the world, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which supports as well as improving agricultural productivity and improving food distribution and nutrition.The government of each country have their own programs anti-poverty, as in Indonesia there are several organizations and programs that help the Indonesian state to rise from poverty. For example Yayasan Peduli, this has 3 objectives:

  1. Reduce and avoid poverty.
  2. Rehabilitate damaged land.
  3. Develop healthy local economies.’

In addition to the organization through, poverty can be eradicated by the government to provide jobs for the unemployed, free schools, for residents who are unable to pay, improve slums makes it more feasible to live in local communities. The government should also limit the number of births because Indonesia itself already overpopulated.

In conclusion, by the cause and effects of poverty that stated before, it can lead to solution and conclusion Goverment should provide occupation for unemployed, free schools for residents who are unable to pay to help Indonesia to improve the economic structure so that the poverty rate can be reduced from time to time.

Reference list:

Poverty – Definition Of Poverty, Global Poverty, Measuring Poverty, Welfare Response, Categories Of Dependence, Weakened Families And Kinship Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from http://family.jrank.org/pages/1314/Poverty.html

Poverty – Definition Of Poverty, Global Poverty, Measuring Poverty, Welfare Response, Categories Of Dependence, Weakened Families And Kinship Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from http://family.jrank.org/pages/1314/Poverty.html

Poverty – MSN Encarta. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761577020_7/Poverty.html (tags: none | edit tags)

Poverty Analysis – Measuring Poverty. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20202198~menuPK:435055~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html

Yayasan Peduli Indonesian NGO fighting corruption poverty and environmental degradation in Indonesia. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from http://www.yayasanpeduli.org/


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