By John Kelly, Australian Financial Report/AAP NewsagencyUpdated May 08, 2018 03:11:20More than a million Australians are living in poverty, according to the latest official figures, with one in four struggling to pay for basic essentials.
Key points:The ABS’ latest Household and Personal Finances Report found that the poverty rate in Australia is the highest in the worldAt least 10 per cent of Australians are homelessIn total, more than 10 per one million Australians were living in extreme poverty last yearThe number of Australians living in temporary accommodation has increased by about 500,000 since 2015The ABS has released its latest Households and Personal Finance report, which has revealed the number of people in extreme financial hardship has increased from one in every six people living in Australia in 2015 to one in one in three in 2016.
In the last two years, the ABS has found, the poverty rates in Australia have jumped to nearly 10 per an million people.
That’s the highest poverty rate on record.
The ABS says this has been driven by an increase in the number living in short-term accommodation and the homelessness crisis.
At least one in five Australians are currently living in homeless households, with some 20,000 Australians experiencing extreme homelessness last year.
About 40 per cent are in extreme income and the poverty line is $1,300 a week, or about $10,000 a year.
The rise in homelessness has been linked to a range of economic conditions.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says Australia’s average annual inflation rate last year was 1.5 per cent.
Inflation rates in many developed economies are around the same.
The report also found that while the average person aged 16-64 in Australia lives in a household where they have no access to income support or benefits, the number in this age group living in very low income households has increased.
More than one in six Australians live in extreme poor households.
That is a large number for a country of less than 10 million people, but it is a growing trend.
In 2016, the median Australian household income was $81,000, according the ABS.
The number of households earning less than $30,000 per year rose by 13 per cent to 3.4 million people last year, with people earning between $40,000 and $70,000 more than doubling their incomes.
“As more Australians are able to access a range at a time and in more places, we’re seeing an increase of the number who are living on the margins,” said the ABS’s Chief Economist, Kate Ellis.
“People are choosing to live on the fringes of society, which is what makes this report particularly important.”
Australia’s overall poverty rate is also higher than most developed countries, but the ABS says Australia has the highest rate in the OECD.
The rate in 2016 was 11.5per cent, but has risen to 12.5 in 2017.
About two-thirds of Australians were on food stamps last year with more than a quarter of people receiving food assistance, the report said.
The government has launched a $100 million national campaign aimed at getting more people into the workforce.
The Government says the new job guarantee is a key component of the JobBridge scheme that will provide people with jobs with incomes between $50,000 to $100,000 with the option to move to a different work capability category if they want to.
The new scheme is being rolled out over the next few years.
The cost of housing in Australia has also increased since 2015.
The Census Bureau’s 2017 Survey of Housing found the median annual rent was $4,600, while the median price for a one-bedroom apartment was $1.3 million.
The Federal Government has pledged to spend $4 billion on housing over the life of the budget.