The study of more than 1,400 people living in a suburb of Darwin showed that a majority of the people were either in poverty or living in households with an income below the median.
The survey, published on Monday by the University of Queensland’s Centre for Health Economics and Policy Research, found that about one-third of the households were living below the national median of $7,000 a year for a family of four.
The research was conducted over a three-year period and was based on data collected from December 2011 to March 2012.
The median income for a household of four was $9,600.
The data also showed that nearly one in three households were either below the threshold for the national minimum wage or below the minimum wage, and one in five had incomes below the $7.20 threshold for children.
The researchers said the findings could lead to policy changes to address inequality.
They also said the finding was a wake-up call to policymakers, saying it could be used to make a case for policies such as universal child care.
“There’s not enough data in Australia about income distribution and there’s a lot of uncertainty about the extent to which that’s happening,” Dr Nick Schulman, one of the authors of the study, said.
The report said the research showed “significant and sustained increases” in the poverty rate in Darwin, with more than one-quarter of households living below $70000.
“The increase in poverty has been especially pronounced among those aged 55-64 years in particular, with nearly a quarter of those in that age group living below that level,” Dr Schulmans said.
“It is important to recognise that the rate of increase in the number of households that are below the standard of living is much larger than the rate for the number living below poverty thresholds.”
“We’re seeing that for a lot more than just one or two years.”‘
Not as bad as it seems’The report also found that almost one-fifth of the adults were in households where more than 10 per cent of the household income was from capital gains.
“This is an area where there is an obvious policy opportunity for policy-makers, particularly to address the structural inequalities that are contributing to the low rate of economic growth in the economy,” Dr Tim Winton, who led the research, said in a statement.
“However, this is not as bad a picture as it might initially seem because there are some notable differences in the distribution of income across the community.”
He said this was because some people in Darwin were earning more than others, as well as that some households were not in a position to save as much as others.
The number of people living below median income was also higher than the national average.
About one-fourth of households were above $7000 a day for families of four, while nearly one-in-five households were below $5000.
The average household income for households with children was $5,400.
Topics:government-and-politics,people,housing,diary,people-and_groups,diseases-and%20disorders,education,education-industry,duraby-4700,darwin-4810First posted October 30, 2020 15:15:49Contact Tim WesserMore stories from New South Wales