People are poor because they are lazy and refuse to work: What is more often the case is that people are unable to access work because of many reasons including: a long-term disability, lack of other resources like transportation or appropriate clothing, lack of responsible child care and limited education which results in limited job qualifications in the first place.

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Most poor people are minorities: As noted, almost 44 percent of individuals who are considered to live in poverty are Caucasian. However, other influences perpetuate the false reality that many more minorities are on programs such as welfare than is really the case. Media coverage often suggests that more minorities are poor when this is not a true representation (United States Census, 2014). While the majority of Caucasian people do not live below the poverty line, a higher proportion of an overall smaller minority group lives in poverty (United States Census, 2014). This may be due in part to systematic racism that is still a part of modern life and may prevent minorities from getting paid equally to their Caucasian counterparts.

Most poor people live in inner cities: Many people in poverty are living in rural areas. These individuals may not have the readily available access to food and grocery stores that is consistent with inner city life. In some ways, being poor in a rural setting is even more complicated than in an inner city environment.

Most of the poor are single mothers: While more than half of impoverished individuals are reported to be single mothers in this chart, this issue is more complex. Some families report that there is no male present because it can reduce the amount of government support that is available if a working male is living on the premises (United States Census, 2014). This may inflate the numbers that are reported.

Most of the poor are elderly: Some elderly individuals are not able to manage their finances without help. In a society where many families do not feel responsible for taking care of parents and grandparents like is done in other cultures, elders living in poverty is an unfortunately common problem (United States Census, 2014).

The poor get special advantages: This is one of the biggest fallacies in the list. Not only do people living in poverty have more limited access to healthy eating and living options but they often have to struggle for education, medical coverage and work.

  • United States Census (2014). Poverty Data: Current Population Survey, Annual Social Economic Supplement, retrieved on April 18, 2016 from: