There are many forms of poverty. There is a lack of awareness of generational poverty because it is less discussed. Furthermore, there are ways to for one to learn how to overcome generational poverty.

If you are also unaware of generational poverty and don’t know about it, then you have landed on the right page. Here you will get to know about generational poverty in detail.

How Is Poverty Generational?

The term ‘generational poverty’ can be used for the families that experience poverty for at least two generations. In this course of time poverty can affect every aspect of an individual’s life such as physical, mental, emotional, and social wellness.

Its internal factor is the psychological barrier while the external factor is financial issues. Together they make poverty continue for more than a generation. Although a major factor in generational poverty is a financial crisis there are issues of hopelessness that are obstacles to overcoming poverty.

Here it is important to distinguish between generational poverty and situational poverty. Situational poverty can be understood as a temporary situation of poverty. This is due to some adverse events such as death, job loss, serious health problem, divorce, or environmental disaster.

What are Characteristics of Generational Poverty?

Generational poverty has its own culture, hidden rules, and belief system. The individual may feel that society owes them a living. The key issue for males is that they have to be “the man”, a main wage earner of the family, a good lover, hard worker, and protector of the family.

Whereas the mother controls the resources and is defined as, “keeper of the soul”. Lack of organization and future planning are also characteristics of generational poverty where future plans are not made which can lead to a wasteful use of limited resources.

Here rules are rigid, physical attributes are important and discussions center around people and relationships. Communication about money may be nonverbal and non-effective.  There may be few resources to use because assistance from other organizations is not considered.

What are the Effects of Generational Poverty?

Generational poverty not only results in financial issues but there are more effects of generational poverty on families.

The foremost effect is on the kids in the families who become pessimists of their situation. They may drop hope of making their future better lacking ambition and self-confidence. They have fewer role models from whom they can inspire to change their conditions.

The parents pass on their own disadvantages to their children as learned behavior. Generational poverty also affects the education of the kids and they didn’t get proper education and training which again leads them to fewer job opportunities and poverty.

This poverty also affects their health and makes them physically weak because of poor nutrition. Also, in generational poverty families suffer from inadequate housing, unsanitary surroundings, lack of access to health care.

Generational Poverty Statistics

Coming to statistics of generational poverty according to a CFSI report only 23% of African Americans and 22% of Hispanics are financially healthy as compared to 50% of white individuals in America.

At their current rates of income growth, it will take the average African American family 228 years and Latin American family 84 years to attain the same level of wealth as their white counterparts. These statistics clearly illustrate the impact of generational poverty.

How to overcome generational poverty
Generational poverty may present psychological barriers.

What Causes Generational Poverty?

Generational poverty can be caused by disadvantaged parents who are not able to afford proper education, tuition, after-school programs or training, health care, safe housing, transportation to school, and adequate nutrition.

It can be also caused when parents pressurize their kids to drop out of their education for earning wages.

How Do You Overcome Generational Poverty?

After discussing the causes and effects of generational poverty next important thing to discuss is how to overcome it. There are many ways in which you can overcome generational poverty. Below you will find major factors to start.


One of the greatest tools for overcoming generational poverty is education. Here education doesn’t mean a four-year degree or choosing any sophisticated course but choosing a path that is the best suitable for you.

You can go with any vocation course with marketable skills that will gain you job opportunities. In this way, you can educate yourself with such skills and knowledge that can help you in overcoming poverty.


This is an important tool yet there is a lack of awareness among people on it. For many individuals, repayment of debts and other tasks comes first and investment becomes a secondary priority.

Although other things can be important taking a step further to invest is necessary and prevents generational poverty. There are many options in investment but ‘retirement investment’ is one of the popular and safe investments to make.


As discussed earlier generational poverty is also characterized by a belief system where an individual thinks that society owns them a living. Because of this belief, he or she does not consider assistance from the community or other organizations.

However, mentorship can be a useful tool to overcome poverty. Through this, you can seek help from such individuals or organizations that can connect you to educational institutions, resources and help you in choosing your career and also guide you on job opportunities.

So, under the guidance of your mentors, you can overcome poverty and you can move forward transforming your life.

What Can Families Do to Increase the Chance That Future Generations Escape Poverty?

Families can play a crucial role in increasing the chance that future generations escape poverty. They can provide their kids with proper education and training, adequate nutrition, and encourage them to work for a better tomorrow.

They can be their role models by inspiring them to work hard, complete their education and search for job opportunities.


  1. How can someone overcome generation poverty?

There are many ways in which a person can overcome generational poverty. With proper education, financial and nutritional support, as well as training, one can overcome generational poverty.

  1. How do you overcome situational poverty?

To escape from situational poverty, you need a good education, good health, and a good insurance policy too which can help in overcoming poverty. Here emergency saving funds can also help in overcoming situational poverty.

  1. What can families do to increase the chance that future generations escape poverty?

In many ways, families can increase the chance that future generations escape poverty. For that, they need to pay attention to their education, job training, healthy habits and indoctrinate in them a habit of saving which they can use in their adverse conditions. The CentShifter blog is dedicated to providing financial education resources to assist in your journey.