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The Henderson Poverty Line

The Henderson poverty line refers to a benchmark level of income, below which, a family or household is regarded as living in 'relative poverty.'  It represents a fixed proportion of average household disposable income and therefore provides a 'relative' measure of poverty or welfare over time. For the period ending June 2012, the 'poverty line' level of income for a two adult, two children household was $46,280 per annum (or $890 per week).  This compares to $26,255 per annum in real terms (or $504.90 per week) in 1974.  

This difference of $20,025 means that a family living on the Henderson poverty line level of income is $20,025 better off today compared with a family living on the poverty line level of income in 1974.  In other words, the purchasing power of a family receiving the poverty line level of income has significantly improved over time.  Accordingly, the Henderson poverty is used by the government to help determine the appropriate level of welfare payments.  It is not designed to provide an indication of the number of people living in 'absolute poverty.

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