This article, based on the 2021 Southern Rural Sociological Association (SRSA) Presidential Address, assesses the dimensions, causes of, and solutions to poverty. It finds that the definition of poverty varies based on the criteria used, and even by which agency or institution is defining it. It also finds that poverty indices vary by state and by county. For instance, in selected SRSA states, Virginia has the lowest poverty rate and Mississippi has the highest poverty rate. There are several causes of poverty, some of which are lower levels of education, lower levels of health, unemployment, lack of livable wages, and the influence of other socioeconomic factors. Suggested solutions to minimizing poverty include government assistance programs, effective minimum wage policies, job creation, responsible behavior, and responsible policies. Overall, efforts to encourage education, improve access to healthcare, and improve shelter, among others, to boost income levels and standard of living are necessary to make ample progress. However, individual responsibility is also important.

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