Indiana has the third lowest poverty rate in the nation, according to the United States. According to World Vision, poverty is defined as the lack of access to basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter. The term can also apply to those whose conditions prevent them from obtaining education, medical help, or stable employment due to lack of money. In the United States, the government sets poverty thresholds and guidelines each year to indicate the income that an individual or family needs to cover their basic needs.
These measures are based on the consumer price index, which measures the costs of goods and services. Poverty guidelines do not take into account regional differences in the cost of living. Therefore, the experience of poverty can vary greatly from state to state. In states with the highest poverty rates, education levels are lower, health outcomes are worse, and life expectancy is shorter than in richer states.
Not surprisingly, the country's poorest states also tend to rank lowest in quality of life metrics and are often ranked as the worst states to live in. To improve the prospects of their residents, these states require greater investment in education, measures to combat income inequality, and additional safety nets, such as unemployment insurance.