Sole Parent Families in Australia

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Abstract
This paper is intended primarily as a resource document. It provides information on the number of sole parent families in Australia, on the growth of sole parent families and on a range of indicators of their socio-economic circumstances. The focus in the paper is on describing the existing situation and trends over time rather than on explaining the causes of the observed trends. The paper begins with a brief summary of the demographic characteristics of sole parent families and how these differ from those of married couple families. This is followed by a discussion of poverty and inequality among sole parent families, again focusing on comparisons with couple families with children. This analysis highlights the degree to which sole parent families are characterised by low relative incomes and thus by high rates of poverty. The provisions for sole parents in the social security system are then described, focusing on income support coverage issues, the reasons for benefit termination and questions relating to the poverty trap facing sole parent pensioners. Finally, the labour market status of sole parents - particularly sole mothers - is compared and contrasted with that of married mothers, this being undertaken against a background of the main trends in the Australian labour market since the early seventies.
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Saunders, Peter
Matheson, George
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Publication Year
1990
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Working Paper
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download Discussion_Papers_No_23.pdf 1.37 MB Adobe Portable Document Format
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