In a climate of dissolving traditional media, The Big Issue has celebrated its 13th Australian Anniversary with a readership of 128,000.

A new report has shown, for every dollar spent on The Big Issue a $4.50 benefit is transferred to Australian society. These benefits include alleviation of taxpayer funds directed toward a wide range of community services. An Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute study found that these costs ranged from $10,000 to $40,000 per homeless person annually.

The magazine is estimated to save society $20,000 per vendor per year. With 350 vendors, this totals $7 million. The Big Issue is confident these benefits are scaleable. The magazine profits $3 million annually, which is split between vendors and running costs.

“We have an extremely simple and effective means of helping marginalised people make positive changes in their lives, which also has significant returns to society. What makes us unique is that we provide a product the public can buy and it’s through these sales that we are able to change lives on a national level every day,” CEO Steven Persson said.

The Big Issue launched in Australia in 1996, on the steps of Flinders Street Station, and has experienced steady growth across most capitals since.