Poverty Line in Australia 2019

Australian Poverty Line in 2019.

According to the definition of poverty being an income of under 50% of the median income,  and looking at official median incomes, the following poverty lines can be seen.

  • A single person earning under $550 per week is in poverty.
  • A couple would therefore be in poverty at under $1,100 per week.

The ABS released its figures for the Median Earnings in August 2019, and these show that the Australian Median employee earnings were $1,100 per week, up by 2.3% since August 2018.

Australian Median Incomes August 2019


The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research has updated the poverty line for Australia to the March quarter 2019. Inclusive of housing costs, the poverty line is $994.68 per week for a family comprising two adults, one of whom is working, and two dependent children.

In 2016, a Smith Family report stated:

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The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines the poverty line as half the median household income of the total population.

In Australia this translates to a single adult living on less than $426.30 a week. For a couple with 2 children, it was $895.22 a week.

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