1370.0.55.001 - Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/10/2012   
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Graph Image for Low income rental affordability(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Data have been interpolated for years ended 30 June 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009. (b) See glossary for definitions of 'Low income renters' and 'Low income rental affordability'.

Source(s): ABS data available on request, Survey of Income and Housing

Housing provides people with shelter, security, and privacy. Having an adequate and appropriate place to live is fundamental to people's wellbeing. Improvements to the overall accessibility of appropriate housing for Australians is important in determining whether life in Australia is getting better.

Most Australian households are able to exercise a significant degree choice over housing when making their decisions about the cost of living, savings and investment. But for many low income households, renting is often the only affordable option, and suitable rental dwellings can become less accessible when rents rise faster than incomes. When the proportion of housing costs to gross household income for low income renters increases, it indicates that households are required to spend more of their available income on housing. This may occur at the expense of other household costs or savings, and result in a decline in overall living standards. In contrast, if the proportion declines, then households will have less financial pressure in meeting their various non-housing costs of living, or saving requirements.

Rental affordability for low income households (that is the proportion of housing costs to gross income for low income renters) has remained constant over the past 10 years (28% in 2000 and 28% in 2010). (Endnote 1) (Endnote 2)

For more in-depth discussion about how housing relates to progress please see the Housing chapter in Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010 (cat. no. 1370.0).


1. Estimates presented for 2007–08 and 2009-10 are not directly comparable with estimates for previous cycles due to the improvements introduced in the 2007–08 cycle for measuring income . Estimates for 2003–04 and 2005–06 have been recompiled to reflect, to the extent possible, the new measures of income. However, not all new income components introduced in 2007-08 are available for earlier cycles.

2. Updated data for this indicator is not yet available, and is unchanged from MAP 2011.


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