Poverty

Poverty in Australia is a major policy and advocacy focus for ACOSS.

In partnership with the University of NSW, ACOSS released the 2018 Poverty in Australia report on Tuesday 16 October 2018.

There are a number of different ways of measuring poverty, including looking at the items essential for daily life that people are missing out on through lack of income, or by spending comparatively more of their income on essentials, known as ‘deprivation’; or by measuring poverty by looking at the number of people living below a certain income threshold, known as ‘poverty lines’. The 2018 Poverty in Australia report uses as the main poverty measure the number of people living below the poverty line of 50% of median household income.

Poverty in Australia 2018 found that there are just over 3 million people (13.2%) living below the poverty line of 50% of median income – including 739,000 children (17.3%).  In dollar figures, this poverty line works out to $433 a week for a single adult living alone; or $909 a week for a couple with 2 children.

The report further found that:

  • One in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty.
  • Many of those affected are living in deep poverty – on average, this is a staggering $135 per week below the poverty line.
  • The group of people experiencing poverty the most are, unsurprisingly, those relying on Government allowance payments such as Youth Allowance and Newstart.

You can read about the methodology behind the report here.

Previous Poverty Reports

ACOSS has produced a number of Poverty in Australia reports. Click below to read previous reports.

DOWNLOAD: ACOSS Poverty in Australia Report 2016

DOWNLOAD: ACOSS Poverty in Australia Report 2014

DOWNLOAD: Poverty in Australia Infographic, 2013

DOWNLOAD: Poverty in Australia 2012 (third edition)