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.
Australian Council of Social Service and University of New South Wales 2018