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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Care Poverty

When Older People’s Needs Remain Unmet

Palgrave Macmillan


  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

  • Brings together social policy, gerontology and poverty research

  • Highlights the care poverty approach as a way to analyse unmet needs as social inequality

  • Focuses not only on formal care but also on informal care, enhancing its relevance outside the Global North

Part of the book series: Sustainable Development Goals Series (SDGS)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 1-9Open Access
  3. Concept of Care Poverty

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 11-35Open Access
  4. Framework of Care Poverty

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 37-56Open Access
  5. Rates of Care Poverty

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 57-98Open Access
  6. Factors of Care Poverty

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 99-126Open Access
  7. Consequences of Care Poverty

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 127-154Open Access
  8. Social Inequalities and Care Poverty

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 155-179Open Access
  9. Long-Term Care Systems and Care Poverty

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 181-200Open Access
  10. Conclusions

    • Teppo Kröger
    Pages 201-213Open Access
  11. Back Matter

    Pages 215-250

About this book

This open access book turns the research attention of social policy scholars and long-term care researchers from comparative descriptions of care systems, focusing mostly on expenditures and volumes of long-term care services, to outcomes, and in particular to the question whether older people really receive the support that they need. Without knowledge about which needs and which social groups are currently inadequately covered, it is impossible to guide policy development. 


The book puts forward a novel theoretical framework to guide future research work and public discussion on the issue of unmet long-term care needs, by broadening the current discussion so that inadequate care is seen in its societal and policy contexts, taking structural issues and policy designs into account. Kröger outlines three different domains of care poverty (personal care poverty, practical care poverty and socio-emotional care poverty) and differentiates between main methods how unmet needs are measured. This book summarises the existing knowledge on the prevalence, factors and consequences of unmet care needs and interprets these comparatively in the light of social inequalities and care policy models of different welfare states. It will be invaluable to students and scholars of social policy, social work, social gerontology, sociology and political science, and to all disciplines across the field of social sciences that study welfare state policies and care for older people.


  • Open Access
  • Unmet needs
  • long-term care needs
  • policy design
  • SDG 10
  • care resources


“In this book, Teppo Kröger provides us with a new way of analysing inequalities associated with long-term care – this is a necessary and welcome contribution on care at a vital time”. 

–Mary Daly, Professor, University of Oxford, United Kingdom 

“In face of ageing populations and the growing need for care, a lack of adequate care is an issue of critical importance. Building upon the innovative concept of care poverty, this book contextualizes the issue within a discourse about social inequality and welfare state policy. The book constitutes an important and exciting theoretical contribution to research regarding the relationship between care and social inequality”.  

–Birgit Pfau-Effinger, Research professor, University of Hamburg, Germany 


“Feminist social policy researchers were among the first to emphasise the importance of care services for achieving the equality goals of the welfare state. With the concept and measurement of ‘care poverty’, Teppo Kröger deepens and extends this insight, bringing new insights into the dimensions, causes and consequences of inequality in the distribution of care, and into the role of well-designed long-term care policies in ensuring older people can live decent and dignified lives”.  

–Gabrielle Meagher, Professor emerita, Macquarie University, Australia 

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

    Teppo Kröger

About the author

Teppo Kröger is Professor of Social and Public Policy, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Care Poverty

  • Book Subtitle: When Older People’s Needs Remain Unmet

  • Authors: Teppo Kröger

  • Series Title: Sustainable Development Goals Series

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-97242-4Published: 04 May 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-97245-5Published: 04 May 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-97243-1Published: 03 May 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2523-3084

  • Series E-ISSN: 2523-3092

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 250

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Social Policy, Welfare, Social Care, Gerontology

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)