Notes on the data: Income support

Female sole parent pensioners, June 2016


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.

Single parent payment female data may also not be published even if it is over 5 if it can reveal confidential data from total persons single parent payment data available from DSS at the SA2 or LGA levels

Data cells with less than 5 counts were removed (confidentialised).


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintiles and Remoteness Areas

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 2016; and ABS Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2015.


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