Poverty in Australia recently reached record highs. According to the UNSW Sydney and ACOSS Collaborative research, poverty-stricken people lag behind society. Professor Carla Treloar, director of UNSW Sydney’s Social Research Policy Centre, said,
“This report underlines the intolerable poverty levels in our country.”
Poverty Rates in Australia
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian poverty rate in 2019 was 13.6%. Where 3.3 million adults and 16.6% of children were reported. Which is around 4 million people are estimated to be in poverty. 50% of the medium income is considered to be below the poverty level.
Child Poverty in Australia
A Study by ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Service) found that over 1 in 6 children in Australia live in poverty. This equates to around 739,000 children.
The report also found that Indigenous children and children from single-parent households are more likely to experience poverty.
Regional disparities in poverty
A study by the Australian National University found that poverty rates are highest in regional and remote areas of Australia. Poverty Statistics Australia shows that poverty rates in these areas are up to twice as high as in metropolitan areas. The study also found that Indigenous Australians are more likely to experience poverty
Factors Contributing to Poverty in Australia
Some major factors contributing to the poverty in Australia are listed below:
A report by the Institute of Health and Welfare Australia found that unemployment is a significant factor contributing to poverty in Australia
2. Low Income
Low income is another significant factor. According to the Australian poverty facts, the poverty line for a single adult is set at $426 per week. For a family of four, it is $836 per week.
Many individuals and families in Australia do not earn enough to meet these basic living standards. Furthermore, a single-parent household that depends on one income is more likely to face poverty.
3. Lack of Affordable Housing
Meeting costs are getting challenging daily as house rents are rising considerably. According to Domain’s rental market report for June 2022, the average rental price across the country is $515 per week. This high cost can pose a significant challenge for many households, who may need help to balance paying their rent with purchasing essential items such as food.
Unfortunately, securing a safe and affordable home can be impossible for families living below the poverty line.
4. Poor Access to Education and Training
Education is essential for future employment. According to the poverty statistics, the link between education and poverty is complex, with those living in poverty often facing barriers to accessing and succeeding in the education system.
Lack of educational opportunities and success contributes to poverty.
5. Indigenous Disadvantage
Indigenous peoples in Australia experience a higher prevalence of poverty in comparison to the non-Indigenous population.
Indigenous Australians have lower education, employment, and health levels than non-Indigenous Australians, contributing to their higher poverty rates.
The Closing the Gap campaign aims to address these disparities and improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Despite being a wealthy country, poverty remains a significant issue in Australia. The latest statistics show that around 4 million people live below the poverty line, with children and Indigenous Australians disproportionately affected. It is crucial to address the underlying factors, such as unemployment and the rising cost of housing.