Poverty in Australia is a fact of life for many residents. The country is one of the wealthiest developed countries in the world, but that does not mean the country doesn’t have poverty. Even though the country’s economy has grown in the last two decades, there are still issues of poverty in Australia.
What to Know About Poverty in Australia
- Child poverty is rising in Australia. Almost 30 years ago, then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke promised that “No child would live in poverty by 1990.” Unfortunately, that promise has not been fulfilled. According to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), more than 730,000 children are living in poverty, which is about one in six children in Australia. Child poverty in Australia has also increased by two percent in the last decade.
- One in four Australians who apply for homelessness services are indigenous. Indigenous people make up only three percent of the overall population in Australia, so race and diversity are a factor in someone’s earnings.
- The people most likely to be part of the lowest 20 percent income group are the elderly, single parents and indigenous people.
- One person in the top 20 percent has 70 times more income than someone in the bottom 20 percent. There is huge economic inequality in Australia, and the gap continues to widen in both wealth and opportunities. This inequality is also a global issue since the world’s top one percent own more than the bottom three billion people in the world.
- Young people aged 15-24 are the most likely to be unemployed. A January 2016 report studying Australia’s poverty suggested that the youth unemployment rate was more than twice the overall unemployment rate.
Australia’s government has been trying to solve the problem by creating more jobs, but there are more ways that economic equality can be achieved. Some solutions include free education and healthcare for everyone, affordable housing, and having everyone pay a fair share of taxes.
– Emma Majewski