Factsheet: Poverty & inequality in the ACT
17 October 2022
This factsheet provides an overview of the extent of poverty and inequality in the ACT to raise awareness for Anti-Poverty Week 2022.
The ACT has the highest average weekly earnings in Australia, but when we look beyond the average, we see that the cost of living in Canberra means many households cannot afford the fundamentals of a healthy life such as housing, food, transport, health services and energy. Closer analysis reveals that a sizeable number of people in the ACT do experience poverty.
The most recent estimates for the ACT indicate that:
- The withdrawal of JobKeeper and the Coronavirus Supplement saw the poverty rate in the ACT increase to approximately 9.0%, representing an estimated 38,300 Canberrans – including approximately 9,000 children.
- ACT has an estimated shortfall of 3,100 social housing properties, with 8,500 additional social housing dwellings needed by 2036 to meet the ACT’s current and projected need.
- At the 2016 Census, there were almost 1,600 people experiencing homelessness in the ACT.
The following groups face an elevated risk of experiencing poverty and/or socioeconomic disadvantage in the ACT: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, people aged 65 years and older and women.