Absolute - when a household"s income is below what is needed to purchase food to sustain members. Legal institutions often use this food-based measurement of poverty status for welfare programs. Mollie orshansky created the standard for the poverty line in the united states, figuring that families spend a third of income on food, and multiplying average food costs for the minimum amount of healthy food needed by three. Later critiqued because the multiplier is to low, as households are now spending less on food in their monthly budget. Poverty is only measured with income, not assets and debts. The median white family has a net worth 17. 5 times that of the median african. Relative poverty - determination of poverty based on a percentage of the median income in a given location. The effects of poverty on children"s life chances. Lack of food, adequate shelter, healthcare and other basic necessities negatively affects development.