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A/Prof Roger Wilkins
(03) 8344 2092
0425 768 807
r.wilkins@unimelb.edu.au

Australian children under the care of just one parent are three times more likely than other children to live in poverty, new data from Australia’s most comprehensive household survey has revealed.

The latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, produced by the University of Melbourne, found 24.1% of children living with a single parent are subjected to poverty, compared with just 7.6% of children in two-parent homes.

The rate of lone parent child poverty has jumped a staggering 15% since 2001.

The report’s editor and co-author, Associate Professor Roger Wilkins from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Social and Economic Research, said the results were startling.

“These figures show that while some progress has been made to drag children out of poverty, big challenges remain,” he said.  

The HILDA report also found that:

HILDA is Australia’s only large-scale nationally representative longitudinal household survey.  It uses annual interviews with more than 12,000 Australians to create a detailed picture of how their lives are changing over time.  

“Since it began in 2001, HILDA has provided valuable insights into the economic and social lives of Australians " according to Associate Professor Wilkins.  

"It is a powerful tool that provides a ‘moving picture’ of emerging issues and trends in Australia."  

University of Melbourne researchers will use the data over the next 12 months to produce more comprehensive reports on specific areas of social and economic policy.

The HILDA Survey was initiated, and is funded, by the Australian Government through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).