Typically, poor people suffer from more health problems than people who aren't poor. Some reasons for that include:
- They have poorer nutrition. Healthy foods are generally more expensive and take more time to prepare than unhealthy foods.
- They are less likely to have access to good health care.
- Their lives are more stressful than those of people who aren't poor.
The poor are also more likely than others to be the victims of violence. Many people also think that poor people are more likely to be violent, but this is a much harder thing to prove and is a very sensitive topic.
Poverty hinders development and maintenance of poor health in several ways.The main of these are:
- Inability of people to get nutritional food in enough quantities.
- Reduced ability of poor people to protect themselves from adverse weather conditions like cold, heat and rain. This is because of inability of poor people to afford better houses, clothing, and facilities like cars.
- Poor sanitary conditions of their living quarters, often aggravated by overcrowding.
- Poor working condition within which poor people may be forced to live.
- Greater exposure to infection. This is due coming in contact with large number of people in their living quarters, work places and travelling in public transport.
- Inadequate medical attention.
- Insanitary and unhealthy habits in life. This may be directly due to lack of monetary resource or indirectly because of lack of proper education in health matters.
- Greater incidence of free sex, alcohol, and drugs. This may be due to lack of alternate means of recreation. Also they may have less inhibitions about these due to specific culture which, because of their poverty may give greater emphasis to materialistic things as compared to vague concepts of good and bad.
Though the correlation between violence and poverty is quite clearly established by observation. Poor people tend to be more likely to commit violence, as well as be victim of violence. The causes for this are not that clear. Possible causes of committing greater violence could be due to the following reasons.
- Poor people have much less at risk and much greater pay off from violence, particularly of the petty crime type. A gain of $100 from a hold up is much more valuable to a pauper than to a prince. Also, A few days in jail is not much worse than their life outside it. As a matter of fact, life in jail during adverse weather conditions may be much better from them than outside it. Also poor people have less to loose from poor reputation.
- Less inhibition to commit crime, This point is already covered wile talking about health above.
- Addiction of drugs also breeds crime and violence.
- Poor people are more likely to become member of organized crime because of lack of better opportunities.
Poor people tend to be victim of violence more often primarily because of their limited ability to defend themselves. It is also due to these people being more exposed to action of perpetrators of violence. Both these factors also leads to greater domestic violence among poorer families.