Deep poverty

Deep poverty is a new terminology that appeared in the second half of the 20th century. This term refers to the phenomenon when somebody lives, for a long time under the poverty threshold and there seems to be no possibility for that person to break out of this situation alone, without external intervention and support.  In case of deep poverty, the risk factors add up: low level of education due to which these people are excluded from the labour market, lack of job opportunities, living in isolated villages, thus they have difficulties accessing the possible job opportunities, services (educational, social and health-care) are available only partially and all these might be accompanied with housing problems. The proportion ratio of the Roma people is overrepresented among persons living in deep poverty, but the majority of these people are not Roma.

Deep poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon manifested, besides others, in very low educational level and low level of employment, the resulting severe difficulties of subsistence, and it influences the basic housing and nutritional conditions and health status of the affected persons, it stigmatises and results in exclusion. All these together necessarily cause the reproduction of poverty and exclusion and the inheritance of it through generations.[1]

It is clear that deep poverty is the result and consequence of several complex procedures and deficiencies. For this reason, we cannot designate a single profession or institution to remedy, mitigate, manage and solve it. Programmes based on cooperation among the different sectors – including the educational and social professions, health-care, community culture, community development and rural development – and economic development are necessary.


[1] TÁMOP-5.1.3 „Közösségi felzárkóztatás a mélyszegénységben élők integrációjáért” konstrukció Pályázati útmutatója

This article based on the following document: Esélyegyenlőségi módszertani útmutató