Almost 3 million Australians, including nearly 750,000 children, are living in poverty according to a major new report, the Catholic Leader reports.
According to the report from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, released this week, nearly 11.8 percent of the population are live on less than half of Australia’s median income.
Catholic Social Services Australia executive director Ms Monique Earsman said that as shocking as the report is, the findings for women are even worse.
“The report reveals a clear gender gap in poverty in Australia, with young women and women approaching retirement much worse off,” Ms Earsman said.
“Women are three times more likely to fall into poverty following separation or divorce, and twice as likely to descend into poverty following the death of a partner.”
According to the report, one in five people in poverty in Australia are in low-paid employment.
One in eight agriculture workers and 10 percent of workers in the accommodation and food services sector have earnings that fall below the poverty line.
“High rents play a significant part in the impact the overall poverty levels across Australia,” Ms Earsman said.
“High rents have increased poverty levels among renters, with the poorest families in Australia scraping by on less than $150 per week after housing costs.”
The report also found more than a quarter of single parents are in poverty, with one in ten experiencing severe poverty
Single people in severe poverty have to live on less than $150 per week after housing costs are paid.
Millions of Australians living in poverty (Catholic Leader)