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Evidence Report

This Evidence Report outlines the nature of poverty in Australia, and details the health and achievement gaps among disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers that emerge in early childhood, and continue to persist over the life course.

Read the Evidence Report for an in-depth look at Australian poverty.

Research Snapshot

Growing up in poverty can have an impact on a child’s health, development and educational success well into adulthood. Even before they get to school, there are health and achievement gaps between children who are disadvantaged and others who are more well off.

Read this Research Snapshot for a quick look at the impact of poverty on early childhood development.


Inequality in Australia: a nation divided


First Impressions


Multigenerational disadvantage in Australia

What did this project aim to find out?

We know that child outcomes are strongly tied to parents’ resources, whether they are financial, social, psychological resources, amongst others. For example, the chances of a person completing high school are much higher if their parents also did the same. We wanted to know how the transfer of resources can play out over several generations, and we started by looking at education outcomes. Is grandparent educational attainment linked to their grandchild’s NAPLAN scores? If so, does this happen only because of the educational attainment of parents, or can grandparents affect grandchildren in other ways?

News Article

Interview with Louise Giolitto

Growing up poor can affect a child throughout their life, even if they manage to find economic security as an adult.

“We especially know this about food. It costs money to eat healthy: it is actually becoming cheaper for families to eat fast food than to buy healthy fresh food," Ms Giolitto said.

“There’s definitely a correlation between people on low incomes and obesity and that impacts children.”

But, Ms Giolitto said, the picture wasn’t entirely grim. There were many families who, although poor, had homes filled with love.