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1370.0.55.001 - Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators, 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/10/2011   
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National wealth

Graph Image for Real national net worth(a) per capita

Footnote(s): (a) Reference period is year ending 30 June 2009.

Source(s): ABS Australian System of National Accounts, 2009-10 (cat. no. 5204.0).

A nation's wealth, along with the skills of the workforce, has a major effect on its capacity to generate income. Produced assets (such as machinery and equipment) are used in income-generating economic activity. Some natural assets (such as minerals and native timber) generate income at the time of their extraction or harvest. Holdings of financial assets with the rest of the world (such as foreign shares, deposits and loans) return income flows to Australia. Other assets, such as owner-occupied dwellings, provide consumption services direct to their owners.

Income that is saved rather than spent on current consumption allows for the accumulation of wealth that may generate income and support higher levels of consumption in the future.

The growth in a nation's wealth is the outcome of a wide variety of influences. Broadly, changes in real wealth reflect both accumulations of past saving or dissaving and changes in the relative prices of assets and liabilities.

Between June 2000 and June 2010, Australia's real national net worth per capita rose from $285,700 in 2000 to $308,500 (in 2008-09 prices), at an average annual rate of 0.8%. However, the growth was slower in the latter half of the decade (an average annual rate of change of 0.5% between 2006 and 2010 compared with 1.1% between 2001 and 2006).

For a more in-depth discussion about how national wealth relates to progress and whether it is improving in Australia, please see the National wealth chapter in Measures of Australia’s Progress, 2010 (cat. no. 1370.0).

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