Poverty is growing in South Australia

Poverty is isolating, stressful and complex. It has an impact on every aspect of life; housing, education, health, employment, access to services and supports, and the opportunity and capacity to participate in community and social activities.

For the statistics presented below, poverty is defined as half of the median household disposable income, around $460 a week for a single person.

In South Australia poverty is experienced by:

of all households

102,850 people rely on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payments (2021) for income, well below the poverty line.

Households in regional areas experience
2x the rate of poverty
than those in the Greater Adelaide area
Only 1%
of private rental listings in Adelaide were affordable for a single person receiving JobSeeker or Youth Allowance

Poverty doesn’t only affect the unemployed – 30% of people living below the poverty line are part of a household where wages are the main source of income. This is concentrated in families with children.

Children in sole parent families experience
3x the rate of poverty
than those in couple parent families
of households in poverty live in a rental

Each of us may be only a life event away from experiencing poverty, and those with the greatest susceptibility to poverty include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Young people
  • Sole parent families
  • Older women
  • Unemployed, underemployed and those with precarious or part time work

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, free information and advice can be accessed through the National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007 or www.ndh.org.au


Department of Social Services, 2021

Davidson, P., Bradbury, B., Hill, T., and Wong, M. (2020), Poverty in Australia 2020: Part 2, Who is affected? ACOSS/UNSW Poverty and Inequality

Partnership Report No. 4, Sydney: ACOSS.

Marks, S; Tilley, S. & Earl, C. 2021, Understanding the poverty system in South Australia. South Australian Council of Social Service and the Wyatt Trust: Unley, South Australia.