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The good news on poverty: New report

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| Mikayla Novak

The good news on poverty: New report

Living standards for Australians experiencing poverty and disadvantage have greatly improved over the last few decades, according to a new report from free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

The report, The good news on poverty: Things are getting better for the poor in Australia, was released ahead of Anti-Poverty Week. The report analyses the rise in income, consumption, health and education standards for the disadvantaged.

"On every front, living standards are improving for Australia's poorest citizens," says Dr Mikayla Novak, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs and the author of the report.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The bottom 10 per cent of income earners have increased their average annual real earnings by $5,687 since 2000, from $37,889 to $43,576 in 2014.
  • In 1994, it cost a person on a low income between 146.4 and 168.2 hours of work to buy a 520 litre-capacity fridge. It 2014 it would cost a person on a low income between 51 and 61.5 hours of work.
  • The number of enrolments in universities from students with low socioeconomic status backgrounds has risen from 77,000 in 1992 to 158,000 in 2013.
  • Life expectancy among men with low socioeconomic status in New South Wales rose by three years between 2001 and 2012, and by two years for females.

"This Anti-Poverty Week, we should reflect on the great strides Australia has made in ensuring higher living standards for the poor," says Dr Novak.

Dr Novak's report, The good news on poverty: Things are getting better for the poor in Australia, can be downloaded here.

For media and comment: Dr Mikayla Novak, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Public Affairs, [email protected] or 0408 873 739.

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