The standard of living and the poverty threshold vary enormously from region to region, as well as from country to country.
A person’s standard of living is measured according to their income, access to basic services and amenities, and the conditions in which that person lives. A person’s ability to gain wealth and comfort can improve that person’s standard of living, although it can also harm that person’s standard of living. Raising income is a way to improve people’s standard of living, as is access to public programs that can help people with very little progress faster. Most standard of living changes must be implemented by an entire society, however, which means that change can come very slowly.
Education allows citizens to earn higher wages, improving their standard of living.
A society can improve the standard of living of many of its members, for example, simply by providing efficient means of transport. When people are allowed to travel, they get jobs that may not be close to home. This is a common problem across the world as jobs can be concentrated in small areas but residential areas can be spread over greater distances. Public transport, such as trains and buses, is useful in helping a person to improve their standard of living, because that person will have access to more services in addition to more jobs.
Public transport generally leads to a higher standard of living.
Access to basic health care is another way to improve living standards. People who forgo medical care often lead more difficult lives, as chronic health problems can develop and prevent these people from being as productive as possible. Having health insurance generally ensures that a person can access health care when needed; if health insurance is not available or the person cannot afford it, health clinics often offer basic services at lower prices so that less affluent people can get the treatments they need. Some countries across the world have implemented universal healthcare, which ensures that all citizens of that country have access to basic healthcare when needed.
Not having adequate housing contributes to a low standard of living.
Getting an education is perhaps one of the most important ways to improve the standard of living. People with higher education are more likely to get jobs that pay well and offer health or retirement benefits. In many societies around the world, a high school education is the minimum requirement to secure a decent job. A person with a college degree is likely to earn more, thus allowing that person to have more amenities for their comfort or enjoyment. Leisure time is undoubtedly an important element of a person’s standard of living, and more educated people tend to have more leisure time as well as more resources to enjoy it.