More than 888,000 NSW residents are living below the poverty line, according to new research from the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) and the University of Canberra’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM):
More than 888,000 people in NSW live with significant economic disadvantage – living below the poverty line – which is 13.3% of the total NSW population.
There is wide variation in the distribution of significant economic disadvantage – with overall poverty rates for different locations ranging from a low of 4.1% (Queanbeyan region) to a high of 28.3% (Guildford-South, Granville).
Of all age groups, children were the cohort most likely to be living in poverty. More than 1 in 6 children in NSW live below the poverty line.
Women have higher poverty rates than men. In terms of composition, of all people over the age of 15 living below the poverty line in NSW, women make up 53.6% compared to 46.4% who are men.
People without a job, including those unemployed and others not in the labour force, had higher rates of significant economic disadvantage than those who were working.
Having a job is not necessarily a guarantee of economic security – poverty rates for people in full-time and part-time work across the state were 5.0% and 7.0% respectively. But those who are unemployed have a significantly higher poverty rate at 33.8%.
Being single, either in a lone parent household or living alone, increases the likelihood of living in poverty.
Being a single parent in regional NSW is particularly challenging – ten regional locations featured poverty rates of over 50% (and up to 65.6%) for this group.
Significant economic disadvantage among renters is concentrated in outer suburban and regional areas which have tended to be considered more affordable.
Households renting in the private market face a higher rate of significant economic disadvantage than those who own their own home or are paying off a mortgage. Social housing tenants were the most likely to be living in poverty.
Owning your own home does not make you immune to poverty. Homeowners without a mortgage still experience poverty at a rate of 7.4%.
Cumulative risk factors and socio-economic barriers result in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with disability experiencing double the rates of significant economic disadvantage compared to the general NSW population.
On nearly all characteristics, those living outside Sydney are faring worse and are more likely to be living in poverty than their metropolitan counterparts.
As expected, those living on the wrong side of Sydney’s “latte line” – primarily across Sydney’s West – experience far higher rate of poverty than their wealthy Eastern suburbs counterparts: