17 Famous Quotes About Poverty

Here are some great, inspiring quotes about poverty from people from all spheres of life, mostly important people who have something to say. We can learn from these powerful words of wisdom and gain direction.

Poverty is a real subject of concern with its painful backlash experienced by a very large population of the world. As such we must work collectively to give poverty a knock out in this battle for the lives of the precious ones we love to save.

So, next time you want to make a call to action, any of these quotes below could be your starting point.

“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.” -Herman Melville, American Novelist

“I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely.” -Charles Bukowski, American-German Poet

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” -Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic Nun


“If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” -Charles Robert Darwin, Naturalist, Geologist and Biologist

“It takes nothing to stay in poverty, but everything to break free from it.” -Idowu Koyenikan, Russian-Nigeria Consultant and Author

“Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, – all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, – who is good? not that men are ignorant, -what is truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.” -W. E. B. DuBois American Sociologist

“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first… When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.” – Victoria Moran, American Author

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” -Mother Mary Teresa

Bojaxhiu, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic Nun

“The wealth of a soul is measured by how much it can feel… its poverty by how little.” -Sherrilyn Kenyon, American Author

“When people love each other, they are content with very little. When we have light and joy in our hearts, we don’t need material wealth. The most loving communities are often the poorest. If our own life is luxurious and wasteful, we can’t approach poor people. If we love people, we want to identify with them and share with them.” -Jean Vanier, Canadian Catholic Philosopher and Theologian

“And that’s when things get messy. When people begin moving beyond charity and toward justice and solidarity with the poor and oppressed, as Jesus did, they get in trouble. Once we are actually friends with the folks in struggle, we start to ask why people are poor, which is never as popular as giving to charity. One of my friends has a shirt marked with the words of late Catholic bishop Dom Helder Camara: “When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist.” Charity wins awards and applause but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get crucified for living out of love that disrupts the social order that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them.” -Shane Claiborne, Christian Activist and Author

“It is also in the interests of the tyrant to make his subjects poor… the people are so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for plotting.” -Aristotle, Greek Philosopher

“Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.” -Plato, Athenian Philosopher

“These days there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that’s a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer.” – Pope Francis

“There are many reasons why vulnerable young people join militant groups, but among them are poverty and ignorance…” – Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

A rich, robust, well-resourced public education is one of the best routes out of poverty and a pathway to prosperity.” – Randi Weingarten

“The belief that the world is getting worse, that we can’t solve extreme poverty and disease, isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful.” – Bill Gates

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