Poverty in Australia 2020 Report

Income and wealth inequality remain entrenched in Australia. There is a stark gap between the highest and lowest income earners with women experiencing disadvantage across all stages of their life.

The Poverty in Australia 2020 report finds there are just over 3.24 million people living below the relative poverty line (13.6%), including 774,000 children (17.7%). In Australia, the poverty line is defined as a single adult living on less than $457 a week.

The report finds:

  • 1 in 8 adults and more than 1 in 6 children are living in poverty
  • The average ‘poverty gap’ (the difference between the incomes of people in poverty in various types of families and the poverty line) is $282 per week
  • Unsurprisingly, those experiencing poverty at the highest rates are those unable to get paid work, relying on Government allowances – Youth Allowance and Newstart
  • The poverty rate in Australia is worse than in most other wealthy countries. It is worse than in New Zealand, Germany and Ireland, according to the latest figures from the OECD
  • ACOSS is calling for a $95 per week increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance; a $20 per week increase to Rent Assistance (as a first step) and for these payments to be regularly indexed to wages, as is the case for the Age Pension

→ Read the report