Poverty seems to have nothing to do with developed countries, such as the United States, the economic powerhouse. However, as it turned out, this is indeed a problem for the world's largest economy.
According to an article by Carol Graham, an expert with the Brookings Institution, although the living standards of the poor in the U.S. now have been improved compared with those in 1970s, poverty is still exacting a high cost - not in terms of water and power bills, but in terms of stress, unhappiness, and pain. The expert found that compared with wealthy people whose monthly household income is larger than 7,500 U.S. dollars, the levels of stress, worry, physical pain, sadness, and anger are all significantly higher among low income cohorts whose monthly household income is lower than 2,000 dollars. The low income group's satisfaction with life as a whole is also significantly lower than wealthy ones. Of these problems troubling the U.S. poor, stress, worry and physical pain are the top three difficulties experienced by the poor. Nearly 45 percent of the poor surveyed experienced stress, over 40 percent reported worry, and about 38 percent of the poor said they experienced physical pain.
A study by Ronald Anderson, a professor at University of Minnesota, said that those with incomes below the poverty line were twice as likely to report chronic pain the mental distress as those earning more than 75,000 dollars in annual income.