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New research confirms 1 in 6 Australian kids live in poverty

One in eight people in Australia, including one in six children are living in poverty, a  released on the eve of Anti-Poverty Week has found, as cost of living pressures continue to put households under strain.

As many as 13.4 per cent of the population (or 3.3 million people) and 16.6 per cent of children (or 761,000 kids) were living below the poverty line in the first year of the pandemic (2019-20), according to the Poverty In Australia 2022 report by the Australian Council of Social Service and UNSW Sydney, using the latest available data from the ABS.

The study also revealed people in poverty are falling further behind the rest of society, with their average weekly incomes dropping to $304 below the poverty line.

The report found that temporary income supports introduced during COVID lockdowns in 2020 – the Coronavirus Supplement and Economic Support Payment – pulled 646,000 people, including 245,000 children, above the poverty line. Those new supports almost doubled the lowest income support payments, including the JobSeeker Payment.  See more from the ACOSS/UNSW Media Release here.

Read the full report at: 

Anti-Poverty Week Executive Director Toni Wren said: “this report provides further evidence that we can’t wait any longer to reduce poverty.  This year our focus in Anti-Poverty Week is to for all our parliamentarians to commit to halve child poverty by 2030.”  The ACOSS/UNSW 2022 report finds:

  • 1 in 6 children in Australia (16.6% or 761,000) are growing up in poverty which continues to be higher than the rate for adults (12.7%). We note these numbers reflect the average for 2019-2020.
  • The boost in income support payments provided in the early months of the pandemic delivered large reductions in poverty for adults and children (child poverty rates were reduced to the lowest level in 20 years), but the gains were short-lived.
  • While child poverty and overall poverty rates follow similar trends over 20 years (2000-2020), child poverty rates consistently track 3 percentage points higher than rates for the population as a whole.

You can take action to help end child poverty, visit our Anti-Poverty Week 2022 page here

You can see what’s happening this Anti-Poverty Week in our latest eNews