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At first glance, Australia appears a wealthy developed country, and consequently an unlikely place to find poverty. Nevertheless, both researchers and policymakers have engaged with understanding social stratification in Australia since the mid-1800s. Presently, despite sophisticated advances in survey methods, no agreement has been reached on a definitive technique to either measure or fully comprehend poverty in Australia. However, it is possible to outline historical measures and consider some of the more current approaches that influence the illustration of poverty in Australia.

Classification of poverty began to receive statistical research attention after the postwar boom of the 1950s. This wave of investigation culminated in 1973, with Professor Roald Henderson chairing the Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry into Poverty that calculated a poverty line. In 1973, the ...

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