Notes on the data: Income support

Female sole parent pensioners, June 2014


Policy context:  Sole parent families who are on income support are likely to be very socioeconomically disadvantaged, with 41% of sole parent households reporting high levels of financial stress - higher than for any other family type [1]. Half (50%) of all sole parent family households depended on government pensions and allowances for their main income in 2009-10, and most had to make mortgage or rental payments from this income [2]. These families continue to suffer high rates of relative income poverty, deprivation and financial stress related to low household income and net worth [3]. Their opportunities for employment or further education and training may be further diminished if they are also caring for a child who has a disability.


  1. McColl B, Pietsch L, Gatenby J. Household income, living standards and financial stress. In: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (ed.), Year book Australia 2002. (ABS Cat. no. 1301.0). Canberra: ABS; 2002.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Household income, expenditure and wealth. In: ABS (ed.), Year book Australia 2012. (ABS Cat. no. 1301.0). Canberra: ABS; 2012.
  3. Summerfield T, Young L, Harman J, Flatau P. Child support and Welfare to Work reforms: the economic consequences for single-parent families. Fam Matters. 2010;84:68-78.

Notes:  People eligible for a Parenting Payment (single) paid by Centrelink comprise female and male sole parents with at least one child under 16 years of age (who meet certain qualifications, or whose child attracts a child disability allowance). Only female sole parent pensioners have been mapped because females comprise the majority of sole parent pensioners.


Numerator:  Females in receipt of a Parenting Payment (single) from Centrelink


Denominator:  Females aged 15 to 54 years


Detail of analysis:  Per cent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on data from the Department of Social Services, June 2014; and ABS Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2013.


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