US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has sparked outrage after describing poverty as a “state of mind”.

During an interview with Sirius XM radio on Tuesday, Mr Carson suggested people are poor because they learned the “wrong mindset” from their parents.

The retired neurosurgeon oversees a department that manages housing for the country’s low-income population.

His comments quickly drew sharp criticism on social media.

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” he said in an interview that aired on Wednesday.