ACTCOSS has produced a factsheet presenting data on poverty and inequality in the ACT. This is one of a series of ACTCOSS factsheets that will harness data to provide accessible insights into key social policy issues in the ACT.
Disadvantage in the ACT tends to be hidden behind high averages across indicators such as income, education, and employment. Closer analysis reveals that a sizeable number of people in the ACT do experience poverty and disadvantage.
The most recent estimates for the ACT indicate that:
- Since COVID-19, the number of people living in poverty has increased from just under 30,000 people to just over 38,000 people, including approximately 9,000 children
- During the 2021 lockdown, 64,000 people who lost work or income received the COVID Disaster Payment
- When the Australian Government introduced the Coronavirus Supplement, JobSeeker increased above the poverty line and ACT’s poverty rate dropped from 8.6% to 5.2%
- When the supplement was removed, JobSeeker returned to below the poverty line and ACT’s poverty rate rose to 9.0%
- During the 2020 lockdown the number of people receiving income support while looking for work more than doubled peaking at just under 15,000 people - during the 2021 lockdown this number has peaked at 9,500 people, still 33% above the pre-COVID level