The number of Australians with low incomes has jumped by about 40 per cent in the past decade, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The latest figures showed the median annual household income for a family of four in the ACT rose by $1,965 to $81,826 in 2016.
While the figure is down from a peak of $88,919 in 2007, it is still the second-highest in the country, behind New South Wales where the median income is $77,091.
More than 50 per cent of those in poverty were aged 65 or older, up from 45 per cent at the start of the century.
“The number of people in poverty in Australia has risen over the last 15 years,” chief statistician Catherine King said.
Ms King said while there had been a decrease in the number of poverty households in the last year, it was still higher than any other OECD country.
It was a worrying statistic for a country with such a rich history of inequality.
In the mid-1990s, Australia had the second lowest poverty rate among OECD countries behind Canada.
By 2000, the gap had widened, reaching almost 30 per cent, but that had since narrowed.
Today, the number in poverty has risen by more than 40 per to 50 per to 80 per cent since 2007, with nearly 60 per cent now aged 65 and over.
Many of the biggest changes have occurred in the poorest regions of the country.
Mr King said there had always been a strong link between poverty and poverty rates, but there was a growing disconnect between poverty rates in the richest areas of Australia and the poor ones in other parts of the nation.
A poverty rate for a single person in Canberra, which is about 50 percent poorer than the national average, is about $50,000.
For a family, the median is $80 for two people and $100 for three.
And for a two-person family, it’s about $40,000 to $55,000 for a median family income.
However, there were also more people living in poverty across the country than in other regions.
There are more people in poor households in Sydney and Melbourne than in Canberra and Perth.
Among the wealthiest suburbs, Brisbane and Melbourne have the highest poverty rates.
But in the smaller suburbs of Canberra, in the outer suburbs of Adelaide and Darwin, the poverty rates are much lower.
Australia’s highest poverty rate: Melbourne’s, $50.7 million In Brisbane, which has the second highest poverty level, the average poverty rate is about half of the national rate of $70,000, which means a median income of $47,000 per person.
Cameron O’Byrne, the chief executive of the Centre for Housing, said there was growing concern about the state of housing affordability in Australia.
He said there were still more than 1.4 million Australians without a home and many of them were in very poor situations.
If the figures showed that the median household income had increased, then we were on track to have a housing affordability crisis,” he said.”
We have a long way to go to meet the aspirations of the middle class.
“Consequences of poverty The new figures also show the impact of poverty on families.
“It also has a very serious impact on their ability to achieve and achieve their dreams.” “
Poverty has a direct impact on the lives of children and young people,” she said.
“It also has a very serious impact on their ability to achieve and achieve their dreams.”
The ACT has been struggling to meet its own housing affordability targets.
On top of the soaring housing prices, the ACT has also seen a dramatic increase in the poverty rate, which jumped by almost 60 per to 40 per cents between 2011 and 2016.
In some areas, the proportion of people living below the poverty line was more than twice as high, while in others, the rate was almost triple.
Dr King said the rise had also hit those who worked hard to support their families and their own careers.
She said the Government needed to step up its efforts to address the issue, including increasing the number and amount of jobs available.