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What is Poverty Life Like in Third World Countries?

Updated on August 17, 2015

What is Poverty Life Like in Third World Countries?

All over the world there are people just like us who would love to have the same opportunities we do. Due to a rising poverty rate in the country they call home it's not even an option. This is nothing like poverty in a first world country either. The families in these third world countries would love to be in a first world poverty situation, they may even consider it a high quality life...

Some of the things we know as normal everyday activities or things we enjoy such as school, breakfast, lunch & dinner, a shower, or even a drink free from harmful bacteria besides our good old H2O are rare. Who doesn't love an ice cold Coca-Cola or Pepsi every once in a while!?

All of this and more are but dreamed about luxuries only if knowledge of them exists to those who somehow survive under the poverty level, in their third world country. They have done it for years, and it's unfortunately the way they see life to be forever, with no way out.

How hungry does this small boy appear to you?

Small boy in poverty asking for food. Wearing dirty clothes as if he has not showered for several days.
Small boy in poverty asking for food. Wearing dirty clothes as if he has not showered for several days. | Source

What's it really like?

What is poverty? Something like over 3 billion people who live on less than $3.00 a day.. we all know that is no kind of money! The struggle for many neighboring countries is there and it's bigger than ever. Imagine an 8 year old little boy walking around the street selling peanuts from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. instead of being given an education to advance in life.

What's worse is that he won't earn much money, no more than $2-3 U.S. dollars for that entire day and night. Think about shelter being sheets of aluminum in the form of "shanty shacks" and dirt floors. What takes place of a professionally established running water system? A nearby river if it's available, if not, rain collected in buckets or a hole dug into the ground for collection.

Electricity is rare around these areas. These folks enjoy the big shining sun in the sky from sunrise until sunset. They may also use candles if there is some extra money to purchase a few. Cooking is done with firewood on outside stoves. This is how everyday unfortunate poverty stricken families are living. While some are aware of the better lives which are possible, they know it is nearly impossible for them to obtain it without money. Others just don't know there are better ways. These people live the facts on a daily basis, they are the statistics!

The inner city business district

Inner city business district of a third world country living in poverty.
Inner city business district of a third world country living in poverty. | Source

The Bigger Picture

Raised under poor conditions like these without options for a difference being accustomed to possibly one meal per day if it's available. Mostly being a combination of fruits and vegetables harvested locally, maybe some rice with a small piece of meat if everyone in the household had a really good day and they can all combine the money.

With very few world poverty programs raising money to help it is difficult. Some have probably seen the commercials that are shown occasionally asking for assistance in donations to help children like these living hard lives. Am I? No.

While it's true that a few of our cents daily can help provide food and shelter and even an education to our unlucky long distance neighbors, most of us just flip the channel or pay no mind to what's going on. The few who do help are making a bigger difference than they may ever know.

So no I'm not going to ask for your hard earned money. We all know times are hard for all of us. However the next time you enjoy your favorite meal from that fast food restaurant, or a nice warm shower before bed or even a glass of orange juice to quench your thirst, remember these helpless families.

If you will, appreciate that shower or that meal from McDonald's, and that beautiful place you go home to everyday with secure locks on your doors and windows along with a bed without fleas or other insects. Now that you know what poverty life is like in third world countries, how fortunate are we really? In our "comfort zone" perhaps it may not seem like much, but to some it is just a dream...

Global Hunger Index for Measuring Poverty

Global Hunger Index for measuring poverty by continent and zone. Color coded by severity of area.
Global Hunger Index for measuring poverty by continent and zone. Color coded by severity of area. | Source

This is a simple chart showing different countries worldwide where hunger and poverty is a major issue. Notice how the majority of the issues are in the African continent.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      this is very sad I mean if I lived there I would be dead

    • Cassie Smith profile image

      Cassie Smith 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      I am very thankful that I am an American and live here where the system more often that not looks after poor people, so much so that there are a lot of fat poor people. I feel very sorry for the children in these poverty-stricken countries because they are the most vulnerable. Ultimately poverty is a result of a corrupt political process in that country. No matter how many times we have given aid to poor people in these countries, poverty has not gone away and that is because of the political corruption.

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Florida

      I agree that with a greater amount of effort from our governments, much of worldwide poverty would end. Some say there are other things on the priority list for world leaders, other than "How to End Worldwide Poverty" like stopping terrorism, violence and drugs. I think they are all very well connected, but it starts from poverty.

      Thank you for sharing this information Pramod.

    • pramodgokhale profile image


      6 years ago from Pune( India)

      I am an Indian and know that poverty here is a problem of social fabric based on caste system. Though I am Hindu, caste system is making me sad.

      Poverty can be eradicated but affluent class and privileged class emerged after independence never allows it to develop healthy and poverty free community.

      The communities barred from education then how they can stand on their own feet.? our social fabric and differences makes it difficult.

      No doubt after independence we achieved lot and to my knowledge India's poverty problem is man made and can be eradicated by government policies and determination and sincere efforts.

      thank you for the article.

      pramod gokhale

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for your comment Summerberrie, I appreciate you reading. I agree, it is life changing. It has changed my life to the point that I have learned to appreciate so many of the little things I took for granted in the past. Like common drinking water fountains for example. You just don't see them.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've seen this level of poverty in Uganda. One has to take a step back and reflect after seeing kids drink form mud puddles in the middle of the street. Visiting a third world country is life changing.

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the comment Trecords, It's surprising to many how harsh conditions really are in these countries.In the u.s. or europe and the better developed parts of the world even the homeless and unemployed with shelters and help centers are living a good life compared to them.

    • trecords0 profile image


      8 years ago from DeLand, Florida

      voted up and beautiful, not because of the subject matter, but for your words. i've been to the slums of Nicaragua, Honduras, and Ecuador and Mexico. in Comaguela (SP?) Honduras I was accosted by a gang of kids no older than 8 who had been snorting glue and wanted ice (i was stepping out of a burger king). lived with a family in nicaragua for 2 weeks sleeping on their bare concrete floor in a sleeping bag. they were considered the richest in the town because they had a concrete floor. their kitchen was outside and the shower was in a cow field. pretty bleak.


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