pauperism

[paw-puh-riz-uhm]
noun
the state or condition of utter poverty.

Origin:
1805–15; pauper + -ism

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World English Dictionary
pauper (ˈpɔːpə)
 
n
1.  a person who is extremely poor
2.  (formerly) a destitute person supported by public charity
 
[C16: from Latin: poor]
 
'pauperism
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Anything that encourages pauperism, anything that relaxes the manly fiber and
  lowers self-respect, is an unmixed evil.
The true line to be drawn between pauperism and honest poverty is the
  clothes-line.
Yet, it was his grim fate to die upon the verge of pauperism.
In time they acquire the habit of work, and the root of pauperism is struck at.
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