Can Families Afford to Live in Rural areas: the Inequity of Food Distribution

There are many incentives for lower income people to move to urban centres. Often there are more employment opportunities, especially in less skilled areas. Government departments often seem to focus their resources on urban areas and public transport options in the urban centres make mobility possible for low income earners. However, competition for housing and the rental prices associated with a city address often make basic needs inaccessible for the low income urban family.

Are low income rural families any better off? Although housing is often more accessible and more affordable, this paper presents findings from a food equity analysis undertaken at ten locations across the Northern Rivers region in NSW. Our results indicate that a family without a car and with the median household income (for that particular town) will need to spend well over one third of their income to buy food for their family. Our study reveals the dramatic difference in the cost of a nutritionally adequate, low cost weekly diet, for urban families in comparison to rural families.

Dr Lila Singh Peterson, Regional Futures Institute 

Healthy Cities: 4th Making Cities Liveable Conference
Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th July 2011
The Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa NOOSA, Queensland

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