Poverty: methodological issues and its level in Lithuania

Algis Šileika, Rasa Zabarauskaitė


The article focuses on poverty measurement problems. It argues that it is necessary to use absolute poverty concept when measuring poverty in Lithuania and proposes a method for absolute poverty line calculation. It also suggests poverty alleviation measures and seeks to substantiate the technique for calculating an absolute poverty line and for a complex poverty situation analysis in Lithuania on the basis of this technique. It also seeks to recommend ways of implementing anti-poverty measures in the country.
The authors suggest that poverty measurement based on a relative poverty line is not effective in Lithuania, because it does not show the actual poverty rate in the country. According to the concept of relative poverty, people are considered to be in poverty if their standard of living is substantially lower than the general standard of living. Meanwhile absolute poverty emphasizes satisfaction of minimum needs of individual. According to the authors, relative poverty measures should be used in highly developed countries where more emphasis is put on satisfying intellectual and social rather than physical needs. Meanwhile absolute poverty line should be used in underdeveloped and semi developed countries when calculating poverty rate. The authors further suggest that a Cost of Basic Needs method should be used when calculating absolute poverty line in Lithuania. This method stipulates a minimum consumer basket (including food and non-food articles) deemed to be adequate for basic consumption needs, and then estimates its cost for different groups of people.


poverty rate; absolute poverty; relative poverty; poverty alleviation

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789