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4713.0 - Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/05/2010  Final
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Contents >> Income >> Equivalised Household Income

EQUIVALISED HOUSEHOLD INCOME

Average

In 2006, the mean (average) equivalised gross household income for Indigenous people was $460 per week, compared with $740 for non-Indigenous people. Mean equivalised household income was lower in remote areas compared with non-remote areas for Indigenous people ($539 per week in Major Cities and $329 in Very Remote areas). This pattern differed for non-Indigenous people, where mean income was highest in Major Cities ($779) and Very Remote areas ($812).

Mean Equivalised Gross Household Income, Residents of occupied private dwellings(a)
Graph: Mean Equivalised Gross Household Income, Residents of occupied private dwellings(a)




Growth

Between 2001 and 2006, mean equivalised gross household income for Indigenous people rose by 9% (after adjustment for inflation using the Consumer Price Index), which is the same level of growth observed for non-Indigenous people over the same period. The relative income disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people remained constant, compared with 2001. Overall, the mean equivalised gross household income for Indigenous people is approximately 62% of the corresponding figure for non-Indigenous people.



Income distribution

Household income distribution can be analysed by ranking all people in ascending order according to their associated household income and then dividing the population of people into five equal groups (quintiles). In 2006:

  • people in the lowest quintile had an associated equivalised gross household income of less than $315 per week
  • people in the second quintile had an associated equivalised gross household income of $315 to $515 per week
  • people in the third quintile had an associated equivalised gross household income of $516 to $742 per week
  • people in the fourth quintile had an associated equivalised gross household income of $743 to $1,077 per week
  • people in the highest quintile had an associated equivalised gross household income of $1,078 or more per week.

At a national level, Indigenous people counted in the Census represented 2.4% of the population with a known Indigenous status, however, Indigenous people made up 4.8% of the people with a known Indigenous status in the lowest income quintile, and only 0.6% of the highest income quintile. Approximately 45% of all Indigenous people were in the lowest income quintile.

Household Income quintiles(a), Residents of occupied private dwellings(b)
Graph: Household Income quintiles(a), Residents of occupied private dwellings(b)



For some households in the lowest income quintile, income levels may not accurately reflect their level of economic wellbeing. This is particularly so for households that have unincorporated businesses or have access to wealth. There are more of these households in the non-Indigenous population compared with the Indigenous population. To better compare households with low levels of economic resources, 'low resource' households have been defined as households in the lowest income quintile excluding those that own their home (with or without a mortgage) or where a household member was an owner manager of an unincorporated business. Under this definition, 39% of Indigenous people were living in low resource households, compared with 8% of non-Indigenous people.


Since 2001, the distribution of income for Indigenous people has shifted slightly, with more Indigenous people now at the higher end of the distribution. In 2006, 16% of Indigenous people were in the highest two income quintiles compared with 14% in 2001.

Household Income Quintiles(a), 2001 and 2006, Indigenous residents of occupied private dwellings(b)
Graph: Household Income Quintiles(a), 2001 and 2006, Indigenous residents of occupied private dwellings(b)



Approximately 6% of Indigenous people were in the highest income quintile. Of these, almost 54% resided in Major Cities, compared with 80% for non-Indigenous people. Over 12% of Indigenous people in the highest income quintile resided in Remote or Very Remote areas, compared with less than 2% of non-Indigenous people in the highest income quintile.

Persons in Highest Household Income Quintile(a) By remoteness areas, Residents of occupied private dwellings(b)
Graph: Persons in Highest Household Income Quintile(a) By remoteness areas, Residents of occupied private dwellings(b)



Indigenous areas, as defined by the Australian Indigenous Geographical Classification (AIGC), around the capital cities generally had the largest proportion of Indigenous people in the highest income quintile. Indigenous areas associated with mining also tended to have a relatively large proportion of Indigenous people in the highest income quintile.

Indigenous persons in highest household income quintile(a)(b), Indigenous Areas
Diagram: Indigenous persons in highest household income quintile(a)(b), Indigenous Areas




Household composition

Indigenous households in the lowest income quintile were most likely to be one parent families with dependent children (37%), followed by lone person households (22%). Other households (households with no identified Indigenous people) in this quintile were most likely to be lone person households (49%), followed by couple families with no children (21%).

Household composition in lowest income quintile(a), Occupied private dwellings(b)
Graph: Household composition in lowest income quintile(a), Occupied private dwellings(b)


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