Abstract: Income inequality is a significant issue for the more than 6.7 million people of rural and remote Australia, especially given the pervasive influence of low income on health and wellbeing. On top of the lower median gross household incomes in rural and remote Australia, many goods and services are more highly priced. In 2005 the AIHW identified food costs as being 10-20 per cent higher in rural and remote areas, with petrol frequently being 10 per cent more costly. More recent figures confirm these price differentials. Despite the common perception that housing in rural and remote areas is cheaper than in the major cities, people in rural and regional Australia are just as likely to experience housing stress. The well-known challenges of access to health, housing, education and work in rural and remote Australia are associated with higher rates of health risk factors and higher rates of a number of chronic conditions among the people of rural and remote Australia. Income inequality contributes to these worse health outcomes, which result in higher rates of avoidable hospitalisations for chronic conditions and higher death rates than experienced by their city counterparts
National Rural Health Alliance,, 2014, Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Extent of Income Inequality in Australia: Income inequality experienced by the people of rural and remote Australia, Hearing, viewed 28 February 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=42945.