The majority of people living in poverty in the United States are living in relative poverty. This type of poverty can be contrasted with absolute poverty. Absolute poverty exists when a person lacks the basic minimum necessities of life. By contrast, relative poverty is the situation in which a person is poor in comparison to the rest of his or her society. In the United States, most poor people are poor relative to other Americans. They have material goods that would make them relatively prosperous in developing countries but are still much poorer than the average American.