What is the Cost of Poverty for Everyone?

We know that poverty has significant impacts on individuals and families, but how does it affect an entire community?

Imagine if we actually knew how much poverty cost us in economic terms. What if we could take everything into account — from the cost of shelters, to the strain on the health care system, to the lost economic productivity due to people not working — and then calculated a number? Gerda Zonruiter suggests that developing a common metric for measuring the economic impact of poverty helps communities make better and more strategic decisions.

Gerda Zonruiter is a researcher and evaluation consultant assisting human and social services organizations make evidence-based decisions. Prior to working independently, she spent 15 years working as a social policy researcher for the City of London.