1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Household economic wellbeing

Government pensions as main source of income(a)(b)(c)(d)
Graph Image for Government pensions as main source of income(a)(b)(c)(d)

Footnote(s): (a) Year ending 30 June. (b) Includes allowances. (c) As a proportion of selected life cycle group. (d) For Couple only where the reference person was aged less than 35 years, see the Household economic wellbeing datacube. (e) Dependent children.

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

INCOME SUPPORT RECIPIENTS

One group of Australians who are more likely to experience low household economic wellbeing are those whose main source of income is government benefits. To be eligible to receive most government benefits, recipients must generally have low levels of both wealth (excluding the family home) and income. In 2007-08, over half (55%) of low income households received government pensions and allowances as their principal source of income.

The proportion of households whose main source of income was government pensions and allowances has generally declined over the decade 1997-98 to 2007-08. Over this period, lone person households, where the reference person was aged 65 years and over, were the most likely to receive government pensions and allowances as their main source of income (78% in 1997-98 and 76% in 2007-08). In 2007-08, 45% of one parent families with dependent children received government benefits as their main source of income, decreasing from 54% in 1997-98. Factors contributing to the general decline over this decade in government pensions and allowances as householders' main source of income may include: strong jobs growth, the closure or phasing out of some payments, and tightening of eligibility criteria to receive some payments (ABS 2010a).

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