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cycle of poverty

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A vicious spiral of poverty and deprivation passing from one generation to the next. Poverty leads very often to inadequate schooling and then to poorly paid employment. As a result, the affordable housing is substandard—low housing costs in poor neighbourhoods attract migrants from rural areas—leads to overcrowding, overuse of facilities and services, and can also contribute to the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty (Okoko (2004) Habitat Int. 28, 3; US Dept. Housing & Urb. Dev. (HUD) 1995). Children growing up in such areas start off at a disadvantage, and so the cycle continues; see Chilton et al. (2007) Indian J. Med. Res. 126. J. Lin and C. Mele (2005) argue the need for class-specific policies in America, designed to raise educational levels, improve the quality of public schools, create employment, reduce crime, and strengthen the family: ‘only a simultaneous attack along all fronts has any hope of breaking the cycle of poverty.’

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