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6530.0 - Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2003-04  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/08/2005   
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MEDIA RELEASE

August 11, 2005
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
91/2005
Spending habits of Australian households: ABS

NEW SOUTH WALES - Highlights
VICTORIA - Highlights
QUEENSLAND - Highlights
SOUTH AUSTRALIA - Highlights
WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Highlights
TASMANIA - Highlights
DARWIN - Highlights
CANBERRA - Highlights
States/Territories table - average weekly household expenditure 2003-04 - selected categories
States/Territories table - Statistically significant differences between 1998-99 and 2003-04
Capital cities table - average weekly household expenditure 2003-04 - selected categories
Capital cities table- Statistically significant differences between 1998-99 and 2003-04


Almost half the money that Australian households spend on goods and services goes on food, housing and transport according to a major survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The latest Household Expenditure Survey (HES) showed the average Australian household spent $883 per week on goods and services in 2003-04, up 26% ($184 per week) on five years earlier. Part of the increase reflects higher prices (the consumer price index increased by 18% over the last five years).

In 2003-04, the 20% of households with the lowest gross incomes (the bottom quintile) spent on average $412 per week on goods and services, up 20% on the amount spent five years earlier. The 20% of households with the highest gross incomes (the top quintile) spent on average $1,484 per week, up 27% on 1998-99.
The top 20% of households spent considerably more on recreation (five times greater) and in transport (four times greater) than the bottom 20% of households. The difference in expenditures are partly a consequence of household size, with households in the bottom 20% containing on average less than half of those in the top 20% (1.5 persons compared to 3.4 persons).

The survey also found that:
    • On average, households spent 17% of total goods and services expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages ($153 a week), 16% of the total on transport ($139) and 15% on current housing costs, including rent, rates and interest payments on mortgages ($135).
    • At the detailed expenditure items level, some of the most significant spending increases over the 5 year period were on mobile phone charges (up 183%), interest payments on mortgages (up 47%), education fees (up 41%), child care (up 34%), domestic fuel and power (up 32%) and petrol (up 26%).
    • Households averaged $46 a week on medical care and health expenses in 2003-04. Within this category, the largest expenditure was on accident and health insurance ($18 a week, up 34%) and health practitioners' fees ($14 a week, up 44%).
    • Average spending by households living outside of capital cities ($789) was less than for those in capital cities ($938). Households outside of capital cities spent considerably less per week on housing, food, recreation and medical care and health expenses than those in capital cities. They also had lower average gross incomes ($986 a week) than those in capital cities ($1,210 a week) and also tend to be smaller with an average number of 2.5 people per household compared to 2.6 persons for capital city households.
    • Lone person households and one parent households had the lowest average gross household incomes and expenditures of all household types.
More details are available in Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2003-04 (cat. no. 6530.0), Household Expenditure Survey, Detailed Items, 2003-04 (cat no. 6535.0.55.001), plus separate state and territory tables.

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