One in 10 Australians say they cannot afford to buy enough food..

A report from the Guardian newspaper states that “One in 10 Australians say they cannot afford to buy enough food..”  and that “Relative poverty in Australia is higher than the OECD average”.

How accurate is this and what does it mean ?

The OECD’s Society At A Glance report revealed that 14.4% of Australians live on less than half the median income – compared with the OECD average of 11.3%.

This can mean one of two things:

  1. Australia’s median income is very high, compared to the OECD, [check this] and therefore those on less than half the median income, may in fact be OK.
  2. Australia is really a bad place to be.

So, what else does the OECD say about Australia?

  • Australia has the 4th highest disposable Income in the world AND the 3rd highest average wage.

Well, that contradicts the original statement.  Lets check some of their numbers.

  • 12 of the 29 countries in the report have average wages (USD PPP) of UNDER 50% of the Australian quoted figure (Australia’s poverty line).  Therefore the POOR of Australia are better off the than almost half of the other countries AVERAGE.

What else did this report compare?

  • The report also found lingering effects from the crisis in the Australian unemployment rate, which rose rise to 5.8% in 2013 from 4.4% in 2007.

Compare this to the OECD…   the EU unemployment rate rose from a pre-crash rate of 6.6% to 11.1%.

One final thing…

Donations to charity…

  • 67% of Australians made donations in 2013
  • 44% of the OECD made donations in 2013


OECD = The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.


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