The 7 Best Documentaries About Poverty

Jul 5, 2023 | Best Of, People

Poverty is a global issue that affects people of all ages, from the youngest infants to seniors. It goes beyond financial hardship and can cause health issues, insecurity, lack of access to education, and other opportunities. Unfortunately, poverty still leads to death for many around the world; UNICEF reported in 2008 that over one-third of child deaths occur within 28 days after their birth.

Documentaries about poverty are an effective way to learn more about this critical issue and how it impacts different parts of society. Here are seven of the best films on this topic that will educate viewers on its effects and inspire them to take action against it.


1. Poverty in Europe Documentary

This documentary shines a light on the harsh realities of poverty in Europe. It reveals why almost 119 million people struggle to make ends meet, and how this affects children, workers and young adults. The stories of those affected by deprivation are usually unheard, but this documentary is an important first step towards giving them a voice. With interviews from experts and those experiencing poverty firsthand, it offers a powerful insight into the world they face every day.


2. A Poor Filipino Family Living in Extreme Poverty in Manila

This documentary focuses on the heartbreaking reality of poverty in the Philippines. It follows a mother with seven kids, and another one on the way, who are living as illegal settlers without any access to education. We also get an insight into her husband’s life – he works part-time construction for only $23 weekly. This film shows us how extreme poverty can have an immense impact on people’s lives and it is sure to leave you feeling inspired and hopeful for a brighter future.

3. Growing Up Poor In America

Are you wondering what it’s like to live in poverty in America? In this documentary, we follow three young children from Ohio who are struggling to make ends meet. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified their struggles even further and the start of 2020 saw 12 million children living below the poverty line. This film shows us how these families fight for survival and gives an insight into life growing up poor in America.


4. Poor Kids Documentary: Below The Poverty Line

This documentary shines a light on the troubling issue of child poverty in the UK, where almost 3.5 million children are growing up without basic necessities. It’s produced by True Vision Productions and provides an insightful look into how governments are attempting to tackle this problem, as well as personal stories from those affected. This film aims to be a beacon of hope for those who strive to make a difference in the fight against poverty.


5. Europe’s Extreme Poverty Problem | Poor Europe

Across Europe, 119 million people are living in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion. In 2010 the European Economic and Social Committee launched a plan to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020 – but have they been successful? This documentary explores the causes of poverty throughout Italy, Portugal and Ireland while questioning politicians and economic experts on their strategies for structural change. Can Europe win its fight against poverty? What is the price that will ultimately be paid? Get answers to these questions as you journey through this insightful film!


6. Growing Up Poor: Breadline Kids | ENDEVR Documentary

Amidst Cambridge scholars lives Courtney and her family as they fight to stay afloat with delays in Universal Credit payments. Despite all odds she remains optimistic and resilient – looking forward to getting back belongings from pawnbrokers or encouraging her mum to find love again for her brother and herself. But even Courtney’s sunny outlook is challenged when there isn’t enough money left for boiling hot water bottles during cold winter months; leaving her counting coins from her piggy bank instead.


7. How Do I Raise My Kids in Extreme Poverty? (Poor Family Documentary) | Real Stories

No Place Called Home is an eye-opening documentary that takes a deep dive into the lives of Kay Rice and her family. The Rices are struggling to make ends meet, moving from town to town in search of affordable housing and relying on food banks for sustenance. As they try to make a fresh start by fixing up a rental home, things take an unexpected turn when their landlord threatens them with eviction. This powerful film provides insight into what it’s like to live in poverty in Canada and shows how one family is determined to fight back against all odds. Don’t miss this compelling story!

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B