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Large Families Equal Poverty

Updated on February 16, 2017

Socioeconomic Class & Family Size

There's a VERY STRONG correlation between socioeconomic class & family size. Socioeconomic class determines what type of family one has It further influences what family size is the most desirable to a particular couple.
There's a VERY STRONG correlation between socioeconomic class & family size. Socioeconomic class determines what type of family one has It further influences what family size is the most desirable to a particular couple.
Socioeconomic class even determines what values you have regarding particular family size. It also influences your attitudes toward parenting & overall family structure. Socioeconomic class IMPACTS family emotionally, educationally,& psychologically.
Socioeconomic class even determines what values you have regarding particular family size. It also influences your attitudes toward parenting & overall family structure. Socioeconomic class IMPACTS family emotionally, educationally,& psychologically.

The Socioeconomics of Family Size



There have been studies conducted by sociologists and social scientists as to the correlation between family size and socioeconomic class. Socioeconomic class is an important component as to how many children people elect to have. It also plays an influential part in people's attitude as to what type of family is the most desirable.



Socioeconomic class determines people's attitude towards contraception and family planning. It furthermore plays a pivotal role as to the feasibility of family size. It influences how important is the family. It also considers the sociocultural backgrounds of people regarding creating a family. It shows what values people have regarding having children and what is their particular attitude towards the children they have, not to mention the overall family structure. Lastly, it determines the economic impact of family size educationally, emotionally, intellectually, and even psychologically. In essence, socioeconomic has a very strong correlation to family size in varied ways.


Large-Families = Poverty

The larger the family, the higher incidence of impoverishment. Studies have shown that poverty rates are the highest in large families. Children from large families are more than twice as likely to be poor.
The larger the family, the higher incidence of impoverishment. Studies have shown that poverty rates are the highest in large families. Children from large families are more than twice as likely to be poor.
In large families, poverty is rife as there is MORE people than there are economic &/or financial resources.  There is LESS money allocated per child in large families than there is in small families.
In large families, poverty is rife as there is MORE people than there are economic &/or financial resources. There is LESS money allocated per child in large families than there is in small families.
Studies have shown that families of 6 &/or more children is commonplace among poor to impoverished parents. More socioeconomically affluent parents tend to have small families.
Studies have shown that families of 6 &/or more children is commonplace among poor to impoverished parents. More socioeconomically affluent parents tend to have small families.

Large Families and Indicences of Poverty


Studies have conclusively shown that there is a correlation between large families and poverty. Joseph Rowntree, a sociologist and President of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, indicated that the poverty rate is vastly greater in large families(6-more children per household) than it is in small families(1-2 children per household). Betty Cockrum, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, stated that poverty is more likely to occur in large families than in small families. Jonathan Bradshaw, a professor of Social Policy, further substantiated that the poverty risk in children from large families is more than twice that of children from small families.


Daniel R. Meyer, Professor of Social Work, and Geoffrey L. Wallace, Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Economics, both from the University of Wisconsin, concurred that poverty is rife in large families because there are less financial resources allocated per child than it is in small families where there are more financial resources allocated per child. Sociological studies confirm that large families of 6 and more children are more common among poor, even impoverished parents than it is among more affluent parents who tend to have small families. An article in THE OBSERVER stated that small families are keys in poverty reduction. There is a saying that small families live better as there is more money to go around. In large families, financial resources are very thin and stretched to the limit with very little monies for even the rudiments.











Falling.....FALLING........WAY Behind

In large families, money is oftentimes stretched to the hilt. It is a constant, tenuous struggle to make ends meet in large families. Parents of large families find it very difficult to adequately provide for & support their children.
In large families, money is oftentimes stretched to the hilt. It is a constant, tenuous struggle to make ends meet in large families. Parents of large families find it very difficult to adequately provide for & support their children.
In large families, there is a VERY LOW standard of living as parents barely eke out a subsistent living.  Since financial resources are so thin in large families, children learn to do without, even the basic necessities.
In large families, there is a VERY LOW standard of living as parents barely eke out a subsistent living. Since financial resources are so thin in large families, children learn to do without, even the basic necessities.

Large Families, Struggling and Falling Behind

Large families and poverty go hand in hand. In the large family household, there are more children than there are monies to be properly allocated per child. Financial resources are very little to non-existent in large families. Such resources are stretched to the hilt as parents are constantly struggling to keep somewhat socioeconomically afloat. Parents of large families are oftentimes unable to adequately provide for and support their children.


As a result of having very little economic or financial resources allocated per child in large families, such children learn to do without even the basic necessities in order to stay somewhat socioeconomically afloat. Life in large families is quite harrowing, even neverending uphill struggle for mere survival. Parents of large families barely eke out a living for their families. It is near to impossible to adequately support a large number of children. Large families typically have a very low standard of living. They live at a minimum subsistence level if that.

Poor Quality of "Life"

Since there is a high incidence of poverty in large families, such children receive no health nor medical care as such is too expensive. However, some have school sponsored health or medical care.
Since there is a high incidence of poverty in large families, such children receive no health nor medical care as such is too expensive. However, some have school sponsored health or medical care.
Children in large families can't afford high quality, nutritious food because of their impoverishment.  They oftentimes consume inferior quality foods which have no nutritive value. Their food staples consist of powdered, canned, & processed foods.
Children in large families can't afford high quality, nutritious food because of their impoverishment. They oftentimes consume inferior quality foods which have no nutritive value. Their food staples consist of powdered, canned, & processed foods.
Large families must depend upon outside assistance to stay afloat.  They receive assistance through donations, charitable/religious agencies, more affluent relatives, & even the government.  They oftentimes use & wear secondhand products.
Large families must depend upon outside assistance to stay afloat. They receive assistance through donations, charitable/religious agencies, more affluent relatives, & even the government. They oftentimes use & wear secondhand products.

Poor Quality of Life in Large Families

Children in large families typically do not receive health and/or medical care as their parents cannot afford such care Oftentimes, the only health and/or medical care children from large families receive is school sponsored. If it was not for school sponsored health or medical care, they would receive no type of health and/or medical care.

Children in large families are also malnourished as high quality, nutritious foods are too expensive for the average large family to purchase. Children from large families do not receive the proper nutrients, proteins, and vitamins in their diets. They regularly subsist on powdered, processed, and canned foods which do not provide basic nutritional value. Parents of large families find it extremely difficult to adequately feed their children. It is not unusual in large families for some children to go to bed hungry while other children eat. Many children from large families only get their meals from school sponsored food programs.

Because of impoverishment, large families must often depend upon outside assistance in order to stay afloat. This assistance is typically through charitable agencies/organizations, more affluent relatives, and donations from strangers. Also many large families receive governmental assistance to make their lives socioeconomically easier. If it were not for such organizations, many large families would fall through the socioeconomic cracks. Large families must depend on donations for even the bare rudiments such as clothes and other necessities because even these things are beyond the budget of the typical large family. It is not unusual for children from large families to wear castoff and secondhand clothing as regular clothing is too expensive.

A Hardscrabbled Psychology

Life is oftentimes a continuing, uphill battle to live even at a barely subsistent level, if not below.  As a result, children develop a STRONG survival instinct.  They know how to survive at the MOST BASIC, PRIMITIVE level.
Life is oftentimes a continuing, uphill battle to live even at a barely subsistent level, if not below. As a result, children develop a STRONG survival instinct. They know how to survive at the MOST BASIC, PRIMITIVE level.
Children from impoverished, large families develop a very cynical/harsh view of the world. It is fight or die.They know that they MUST FIGHT to survive as the world is unwelcoming to them. If they do not-they will fall through the cracks.
Children from impoverished, large families develop a very cynical/harsh view of the world. It is fight or die.They know that they MUST FIGHT to survive as the world is unwelcoming to them. If they do not-they will fall through the cracks.

Psycho-culture of Poverty in the Large Family

The large family typically is socioeconomically poor to impoverished, even penurious. Large families live at a barely subsistence level. They even live below the subsistence level. Their lives are a continuous series of economic struggles & barely surviving from day to day. As a result of such impoverished socioeconomic conditions, children from large families develop strong survival instincts. One could that children from large families have a very strong street or instinctive savvy. They know how to exist at the most primitive, basic level.

Children from large families furthermore have a very harsh, even cynical view of the world. Their premise is that the world is a harsh, even unwelcoming place to be. They also develop a fight attitude, thinking that is it either them or the environment. They realize that from their familial environment, they must constantly fight to survive and it is the survival of the toughest. They contend that they have to be tough and fight or they will fall through the cracks whether it is familial or environmental. Children from large families are oftentimes devoid of refinement, culture and empathy because of their familial environment. They can be classified as street/life savvy and rough around the edges

Low Academic, Educational, & Intellectual Achievement

The negative components of poverty & large families translate into low academic,even intellectual achievement for children. In such homes,there is no intellectual forms of stimulation coupled w/little parental involvement in their children's lives.
The negative components of poverty & large families translate into low academic,even intellectual achievement for children. In such homes,there is no intellectual forms of stimulation coupled w/little parental involvement in their children's lives.
Because there are very little financial resources in large family environments, there is no monies relegated for education materials which would help them be high academic achievers.  When they attend school, they are academically behind.
Because there are very little financial resources in large family environments, there is no monies relegated for education materials which would help them be high academic achievers. When they attend school, they are academically behind.
Large families' main emphasis is on a basic level of survival. Parents of large families are less educated. Because of these things, they view academic & educational achievement as superfluous, so such achievements are not encouraged.
Large families' main emphasis is on a basic level of survival. Parents of large families are less educated. Because of these things, they view academic & educational achievement as superfluous, so such achievements are not encouraged.
Children in large families do not complete their education.  They are lucky if they finish high school. College is out of the question for children from large families as they needed to work. They are thus locked into poverty as their parents were.
Children in large families do not complete their education. They are lucky if they finish high school. College is out of the question for children from large families as they needed to work. They are thus locked into poverty as their parents were.

Poverty, Low Academic and Educational Achievement in Large Families

It has been documented that poverty has a deleterious, even disastrous effect on children. Psychologists, social scientists, and sociologists further confirm that children from large families are usually low academic achievers. Parents of large families do not have the emotional resources to devote to each child. In large families, there is very little parent-child interaction. Children raising and fending for themselves are normative occurrences in large families.

Beside this component, there are very little financial resources in large families. Everything is stretched to the limit and beyond. There is very little money for the rudiments, let alone for educational and other intellectual paraphernalia which would assist children to be high academic achievers. Children in large families simply do not have the educational and intellectual paraphernalia that children from small families have.

As a result of the aforementioned factors, children from large families are at an extreme disadvantage when they start school. They have a lack of academic preparedness which manifests itself in low reading, language, and math skills A second factor in low academic achievement in children from large families is that academic achievement and education is considered unimportant, even unnecessary. In large families, the emphasis is on pure basic, rudimentary survival a/k/a street/life smarts thus academic and educational achievement is not encouraged. Also, parents of large families tend to be less educated so they do not see any value in obtaining an education nor in academic achievement. They figure that they are fine without education and figure that their children will be fine also.

Parents of large families do not emphasize education as they see no importance nor value in education. Children from large families oftentimes do not complete their education because they are needed to supplement the meager family income. They are lucky if they complete their secondary education.. Seldom do children from large families attend college and beyond. This translates that they will be locked in the cycle of poverty as their parents with very little to no hope of ever escaping it. To reiterate, all large families are concerned about is pure, basic survival and nothing beyond that.


Delinquent & Other Negative Behaviors

The components of poverty & large families make some children gravitate towards delinquent  & other nefarious actiivities.  They participate in such activities as a deflation & escape from their depressed familial & home environment.
The components of poverty & large families make some children gravitate towards delinquent & other nefarious actiivities. They participate in such activities as a deflation & escape from their depressed familial & home environment.
Children from poor, large families gravitate towards delinquency & gangs in order to gain a sense of self-worth & acceptance which they do not receive in their famiies. They also do such to gain economic access to escape poverty.
Children from poor, large families gravitate towards delinquency & gangs in order to gain a sense of self-worth & acceptance which they do not receive in their famiies. They also do such to gain economic access to escape poverty.

Poverty and Its Relation to Delinquent Behavior & Large Families

Children from large families often gravitate towards delinquent activities because their family and home environments are so miserable that they steal and/or commit other egregious acts as a defense mechanism to deflate from their impoverished surroundings. They also lean towards delinquent activities in order to receive a sense of validation that they do not receive at home. A noted celebrity who was the youngest of nine children who came from an impoverished home indicated that he would sneak out at home to steal and commit other crimes in order to receive the attention that he did not receive at home. He further mentioned that he stole to get the things that he normally did not have at home.

Other such children join gangs to have the family, attention, and sense of belonging that they did not have at home. Many children from impoverished large families are attracted to nefarious activities because they see no other socioeconomic alternative in their lives. They believe that other socioeconomic avenues are closed to them because of their impoverished. That and the fact that their parents cannot provide educational and socioeconomic opportunities for them to improve their lot.

Poverty.......MENTALITY

People who grew up in large families develop a poverty mindset as a result of their impoverished environment.  They are quite happy being impoverished, even viewing such as a normative lifestyle.
People who grew up in large families develop a poverty mindset as a result of their impoverished environment. They are quite happy being impoverished, even viewing such as a normative lifestyle.
Such people have negative attitudes of any lifestyle beyond the poverty level. They even have an inverse psychology that poverty & struggle are good for the soul. They are quite happy being impoverished for the rest of their lives.
Such people have negative attitudes of any lifestyle beyond the poverty level. They even have an inverse psychology that poverty & struggle are good for the soul. They are quite happy being impoverished for the rest of their lives.

Poverty Mentality and Mindset in Large Families

People who are from large families develop a poverty consciousness and mindset. They are quite content living at a barely subsistence level. They have absolutely no inclination to improve themselves socioeconomically. They even view poverty as quite normative, even adopting poverty as a lifestyle. They develop an inverse philosophy and psychology that poverty is a positive, even empowering thing.

They see poverty as good and are quite suspicious of any lifestyle above poverty which they deem as extravagant, even superfluous. It is typical behavior in large families to have a poverty mentality. Because of their upbringing, they cannot, do not, and/or will not see a life outside of poverty and struggle. As a result of their impoverished condition, they view money and socioeconomic affluence in a negative fashion. They even rationalize their impoverished, believe in the mantra although they are impoverished, they are quite happy.

There is a very strong relationship of large families to poverty.  The key to reducing poverty is reducing, even eliminating large families.  There is a saying that small families live better.
There is a very strong relationship of large families to poverty. The key to reducing poverty is reducing, even eliminating large families. There is a saying that small families live better.

Conclusion

To summarize, the rate of poverty is greater in large families than it is in small families. These two components lead to deleterious results in terms of poor nutrition, little or no health and/or medical care, and low academic, educational, and intellectual achievement. Such components have further negative outcomes in terms of delinquency and a development of a poverty mentality and mindset. One of the ways to reduce poverty is stringent family planning, having the amount of children that parents can afford, giving their children opportunities beyond rudimentary socioeconomic struggle. The reduction, even elimination of large families, is the key to reducing poverty. The saying that small families live better is a truism if there ever is one.

For Further Reading on the Subject

Large Families & Poverty

How are large families related to socioeconomic poverty?

See results

Large Family Survey

How would you classify your childhood socioeconomic class?

See results

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    • brages07 profile image

      brages07 5 years ago from South Royalton, VT

      Great hub. Another key component in poverty is the actions of the ownership class. I am always amazed that they cut employee pay and benefits for the last thirty years, as well as laid off employees and outsourced jobs. Then when the issue of social spending comes up, they say that people should just take care of themselves. I cannot even come up with a good analogy for that disconnect. the best I can come up with is that it is like slashing your own tires then filing a police report. I am reminded of what Ralph Nader said while promoting his most recent book. He said that charity and social programs are nice, but why don't we just have a fairer society in the first place? While large families have less to go around, we need to look at the social system as well.

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      You made some great points, brages07.

    • MsHoneyGraham profile image

      MsHoneyGraham 5 years ago from Borington,North Carolina-I mean Warrenton, North Carolina

      I am the oldest of five children raised in the South. The five of us have never been to prison or been in any trouble with the authorities. My MARRIED parents raised us in a household where they instilled in us to be productive citizens, cultured, and mannerable. Yes, I guess that there was some struggle, but I am unaware of the extent of what it really was. As a family, we loved each other. I never blamed my parents for the have-nots. Although, it taught me that I have to work hard for the things that I want and appreciate the things that I have, always being thankful that my basic needs were met. My father was an educator and he worked for Public Radio and a local tv sports announcer, my mother was a stay at home mom, who occasionally worked when she and my father were in a pinch. She was always there for us, we were never latchkey kids or waiting around to have dinner at a neighbors because of a lack of food. My siblings and I grew up to be productive citizens. Not everyone from a large family is destined to live in poverty forever or be a criminal. My parents exposed us to the humanities. We met people of different cultures and experienced things that others I knew who grew up in depressed Warren County,NC never had the chance to appreciate. I will never,ever regret any part of my childhood and growing up in a large family.

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you for stopping by. Of course, not all large families are impoverished as evidenced by your family. Your family of origin is considered to be middle class socioeconomically. You are indeed very Blessed and fortunate.

      However, the average large family is classified as impoverished with all its associative pathologies. Let us not digress. Thank you again for stopping by and I have enjoyed your input into the matter.

    • MsHoneyGraham profile image

      MsHoneyGraham 5 years ago from Borington,North Carolina-I mean Warrenton, North Carolina

      You're welcome. I enjoy reading ideas from your perspective. Your hubs are informational and they should really make people more consciouse about the family and themselves.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 5 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      Great hub which I enjoyed reading. You make some pretty valid points here. I remember in my childhood living in the same street as a woman who had 12 children! They were very poor and often had to wear hand me downs. I often wondered how she could possibly give equal attention to each child, aside from the fact that they clearly struggled financially. I come from a family consisting of just my brother and I. Of course, there are exceptions, but on the whole, I agree with you that large families are often impoverished and don't have the same opportunities that children from smaller families have.

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      To jacqui2011: Thank you for your intelligent response. I have known this for a long time. Large families, in the overwhelming majority of cases, equals poverty. It is just simple mathematical logistics. The more children per household, the less there is to go around! Simple logic indeed!

      I attended school with children from large families and a logical and intelligent person could clearly tell the differences. They were poor, wore hand me downs, and were not self substaining. One girl from such a family always asked us more affluent children to loan her notebbook paper and pencils which she "neglected" to return. Yes, children from large families are born into poverty and often end up in direr situations than children from small families do! I greatly appreciate your response and you are ALWAYS welcome to stop by!

    • profile image

      paxwill 5 years ago

      In the US and Canada at least, having large families also correlates strongly with religiosity, particularly the more fundamentalist branches of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

      In such families, children are brought up to believe that scholastic achievement is secondary to religious study and obedience to God, which may also explain why children from large families tend to do worse in school on average.

      Of course, there are always exceptions, but in my life I have never encountered any large families (7+ kids) that were non-religious.

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      To paxwill: What you have stated is very true. Many large families are extremely traditionally religious. Let me correct that-an overwhelming majority of large families fit that category. I appreciate your comments which will add to the discussion. Many of the large families I have also encountered are extremely traditionally religious. My mother came from an extremely, religiously fundamentalist family of ten children. Her father was a minister and there was bible study ad infinitum. She and many of her siblings are intensely religious to this day. She believed that religion was the be and end all. Yes, the large family culture is divergently different from that of the small family culture.

      This explains why children from large families are oftentimes more conservative in areas such as contraception, abortion, and women's issues in general. Daughers in large families are raised to be submissive to the male figure and are taught to be second class citizens because they are female. Many people from large families are also extremely pro-life and are anti-abortion and anti-birth conrol. You have presented some excellent points. Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion.

    • Amanda Roddy profile image

      Amanda Roddy 4 years ago

      Though I'm not childless by choice, it amazes how people try justifying having large families. 5 or 6 kids isn't large by no means but larger than normal. The preacher who married DH and I had 5 kids and they are a rare breed. You never hear of them getting in trouble. Most of them are in their 20s now. Staying away from criminal activity has more to with environemnt. I can see where kids who are sheltered in extremelyrelgious households can turn to the bad side. I have seen this myself. They have no connection to real life. Then add gobs of kids-not a good combination. I led a sheltred life myself-not Fundamentalist- my mother worked outside the home and I have one brother. I think I adapted better being from a smaller fmaily. I went to college for a while. We weren't rich by no means but had more opportunities that would be impossible in a larger family.

    • saif113sb profile image

      saif113sb 4 years ago

      very very informative hub.

      Thanks

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      You are quite welcome indeed.

    • profile image

      LR 2 years ago

      @paxwill-Muslims indeed have large families and are clannish.

      @gmwilliams-Sons are raised to be dominant and superior over the female figure so that way they protect themselves from being dumped on.

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