Ghetto vs Slum – Difference Between Ghetto and Slum

Ghetto and slum both are used for the underprivileged areas, but there are many other differences between both of these terms.

A ghetto is mainly used for representing a place where a specific community of people lives. Slums are dirty or unhygienic areas where poor people live due to many reasons.

The most significant difference between ghetto and slum is the type of people living in it.

Ghetto vs Slum                                          

The main difference between ghetto and slum is that ghetto refers to an area with a limited number of people with similar religions or races. On the other hand, a slum refers to a dirty place with many people of different races and religions. A ghetto is recognized with the help of people living in it, whereas slums are determined by the type of area.

Ghetto vs Slum

 A ghetto is a less privileged area where poor people live due to political, social, or legal issues. The income of the people living in the ghetto would be less.

The facilities provided to the people living in the ghetto would be limited. In the ghetto, a mixture of people from different communities doesn’t live.

Slum areas allow poor people to live without any religious restriction. In slum areas, people with different religions or races live together.

The people living in slum areas are poor and would hardly have any money for survival. The slum areas have many people and are overcrowded most of the time.

Comparison Table Between Ghetto and Slum       

Parameters of ComparisonGhettoSlum
Identified byThe type of peopleThe type of place
Community or religion restrictionsRestrictions are present in the ghettoNo restrictions are there in slums
IncomeIncome is not extremely less
Income is extremely less
HygienePoor hygieneVery poor hygiene
Infrastructure of housePoor infrastructure of housesThe incomplete infrastructure of houses

What is Ghetto?

A ghetto is an area where people with similar religion or races lives. The area lacks high-quality facilities. The people live in the ghetto due to some pressure on them.

The pressure could be financial, social, and legal. Jewish ghettos are examples of ghettoization. The concept of ghettoization first came into the role in the United States.

In the ghetto, the facilities such as food and water are reliable but not up to the mark. The people in the ghetto would be able to live a normal or poor life due to limited income.

The ghetto would not be dirty but less privileged. The sanitization of the ghetto areas is done, but not very often.

People living in the ghetto have to go through various issues, such as limited water supply and health care. The big educational institutions and hospitals are not found in the ghetto areas.

Ghettoization is not good for promoting social equality and bonds between people. The ghetto areas get ignored in terms of facilities as compared to other places in society.

The ghettoization would prevent people from getting equal opportunities and services. The children living in ghetto areas would get fewer education facilities, which would prevent them from employment in the future.

The distrust among the people would increase due to ghettoization. People living in ghetto areas would not be able to interact with others and hence, would not be able to increase their social values.

What is Slum?

There are some dirty and unhygienic places where people live are slums. A slum is a congested place with a huge number of people.

The slum area has no such restrictions or constraints for the religion or race of people. The reason behind people shifting to slum areas is social and political issues. Many people shift to slums due to poverty or financial depression.

Natural disasters are some of the most common reasons behind people shifting to the slums. The houses in the slum areas are very small and not done with proper infrastructure.

The income of the people living in slum areas is extremely low. The facilities provided to the people living in slum areas are very few and limited.

People can expect to get poor electrical connections and water supply for their survival in slum areas. The health of people living in slum areas would not be very well due to unhygienic areas and low-quality food.

The house planning in the slum areas would not be done uniformly, and this may make the area less spacious.

In rainy seasons, the slum areas would suffer a lot due to weak house infrastructure and improper drainage planning.

Main Differences Between Ghetto and Slum

  1. A ghetto is a place for a particular group of people living together, whereas the slum areas are for people of any type of race or religion.
  2. A ghetto is identified by the people staying in the area, whereas the slum area is recognized by the condition of the area.
  3. Ghetto doesn’t have huge numbers of people living in a single area, whereas the slum would have a huge number of people.
  4. Ghetto areas are spacious and hygienic, whereas the slum areas are not spacious at all.
  5. Ghetto has limited educational facilities for the people, whereas the people living in slum areas would not get good educational facilities.
Ghetto vs Slum – Difference Between Ghetto and Slum


Ghetto and slums represent poor or less privileged areas. The religious restrictions in the ghetto are very high. People not belonging to the specific group would not be allowed to stay in the ghetto.

Slums are flexible in the case of caste or religious restrictions. The ghetto and slum are more common in developing countries. Migration is a big reason for people living in slum areas.

The lives of people in ghettos and slums would be herculean compared to other urban areas. Nowadays, many rules and regulations are enforced by the government for helping the people in slum areas.

Ghetto people represent a particular community or group. On the other hand, slums stand for poor people living in extremely less organized areas.


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