Poverty Levels Rise in Australia as Global Financial Crisis Fallout Continues Worldwide

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By Reissa Su | March 21, 2014 12:08 AM EST

The fallout of the global financial crisis is far from over as the latest report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed high unemployment rates and low income have led to the worsening socioeconomic conditions in several countries, including Australia.

REUTERS
Zambian children attend school in a poverty stricken area near the country"s capital Lusaka July 1, 2005.

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The financial crisis fallout worldwide is still being felt strongly in the eurozone, which is currently hit by a sovereign debt crisis leaving countries like Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Spain embroiled in social and economic problems.

The OECD outlook for European countries and emerging economies in Asia are far from the U.S. showing signs of widespread and sustainable recovery. On a positive note, the OECD said the prospects for both OECD-covered areas and world economy appear to be brighter.

Rising Poverty in Australia

The OECD has noted poverty levels in Australia are increasing with 14.4 percent of the population having difficulty in making ends meet. The Australian figure is higher than the OECD average of 11.3 percent.

According to OECD, child and youth poverty has increased while 10 percent of the Australians can't afford to buy sufficient food. The rate is lower than the OECD average of 13.2 percent. Child poverty in Australia has increased between 2007 and 2010 while the number of poor elderly declined partly because of pension.

The number of people living in extreme poverty may have sharply declined in the last 30 years but there are still 400 million children in the world living in abysmal conditions.

In a 2013 report, the World Bank found there were less 721 million people in extreme poverty based on the data collected in 2010, living under $1.25 a day compared to figures in 1981. In low-income countries, many children still live in extreme poverty.

Australia's unemployment rate has climbed to 6 percent, which is a record-high in 10 years.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, 3,700 Australians lost their jobs in January which pushed the unemployment rate up to 6 percent. The last time Australia had the same rate was in July 2003. 

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(Photo: REUTERS / Salim Henry)
Zambian children attend school in a poverty stricken area near the country"s capital Lusaka July 1, 2005.
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