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Household Income and Wealth
Tasmania presented with the lowest average gross household income with $897 per week. This was preceded by SA ($1,033) and Qld ($1,036).
Mean Weekly Household Income by Capital City
The ACT, as a city state, is different to the other States and Territories, and so it might be more informative to compare average household income levels in Canberra with those in the other capitals. Canberra and Darwin households both had average gross income of around $1,400 per week. However, Sydney was a very close third with a mean weekly gross household income of $1,360. Brisbane ($1,070), Adelaide ($1,060) and Hobart ($1,040) reported the lowest mean household incomes.
Equivalised Disposable Household Income by Capital City
When researchers consider household income, they often talk about 'equivalised' income. Equivalising household income is a technique for adjusting household income to account for the fact that there are economies of scale in larger households and that adults usually have greater needs than children (two people sharing a house would each require less income to maintain the same standard of living as someone living in the same house alone, for example) (see Notes for further information).
When we look at equivalised disposable household, Canberra households had the highest average income of any capital city ($670 per week), followed by Darwin ($640) and Sydney ($620). Brisbane had the lowest average equivalised disposable household income per week with $530. This was preceded by Hobart and Adelaide (both around $540).
Mean Household Net Worth by Capital City
Household net worth is the value of a household's assets less the value of its liabilities, and is strongly influenced by the value of people's dwellings and their superannuation and savings (see Notes for a full definition).
While Canberra households have the highest household incomes in Australia, they do not have the highest net worth. The mean net worth for Australian households in 2003–04 was $503,000. Sydney had the highest net worth value per household with $640,000, followed by Melbourne and Canberra (both around $505,000). Adelaide had the lowest mean household net worth of $362,000, with Darwin and Hobart a little higher (both around $374,000).
All estimates used in this article are taken from the data collected in the 2003-04 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH).
Gross household income is defined as regular and recurring cash receipts from wages and salaries, profit/loss from own unincorporated business, investment income in the form of interest, rent and dividends, private transfers in the form of superannuation, child support, other transfers from other households, and cash transfers from government pensions and allowances.
Equivalised disposable household income facilitates the comparison of income levels between households of differing size and composition, reflecting the requirement of a larger household to have a higher level of income to achieve the same standard of living as a smaller household. Equivalised income is derived by calculating an equivalence factor for each household and then dividing income by the factor. The equivalised disposable income estimate for any household represents the amount of disposable cash income that a single person household would require to maintain the same standard of living as the household in question, regardless of the size or composition of the latter.
Household net worth, often referred to as wealth, is the value of a household's assets less the value of its liabilities. Assets can take many forms including:
Liabilities are primarily the value of loans outstanding including mortgages, personal loans, credit card debt and higher education contribution scheme debt.
To find out more about the ACT and ACT statistics see the ACT Theme Page