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Vital Signs Canberra 2021

Today we launched the Vital Signs Canberra 2021 report in partnership with Hands Across Canberra.

Vital Signs Canberra 2021 is a community-led research initiative that explores four key themes of HealthEducation and EmploymentHousing and Belonging.  These themes were decided by

the Canberra community when developing the inaugural Vital Signs 2018 Report.

The 2021 report found that despite the ACT having the highest average weekly earnings in Australia, two out of five Canberrans living in poverty are in wage-earning households, and that one in three Canberra adults are vulnerable to financial shocks.  Canberra is one of the most expensive cities in Australia to rent, with high rates of rental stress for low-income earners, limited rental vacancies, and a median house price reaching $1m.

Canberra has a reputation of being one of the most liveable cities in the country, yet we are also one of the most expensive and there is 38,000 (or 9% of our population) living in poverty.

The report wasn’t all doom and gloom, with many strengths to celebrate amongst the challenges. Canberra has low unemployment, a high level of education, a strong commitment to donating and volunteering, and a sense of belonging across the community.

Georgina Byron, from the Snow Foundation, said

“the report was an important snapshot into the lives of people in Canberra, uncovering truths that can often be hidden behind closed doors.  This is a very important report for our local region. It provides researchers, policy makers, and service providers, with guidance on what we should be focussed on, to make this city and region a place for everyone.  It helps us recognise the areas we should be proud of, while also highlighting those we must work on”.

Read the full media release here


See media-related articles

Canberra poverty figures show marked jump in Snow Foundation and Hands Across Canberra research – The Canberra Times 8 November 2021