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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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National income

Gross domestic product(a) per capita(b)
Graph Image for Gross domestic product(a) per capita(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Chain volume measure: reference year 2007-08. (b) Year ending 30 June.

Source(s): ABS Australian System of National Accounts, 2008-09 (cat. no. 5204.0)


The most fundamental influence on income growth is growth in the volume of goods and services produced (Gross Domestic Product (GDP)), although like the headline indicator it does not take account of some non-market activities, such as unpaid household work, that contribute to material living standards.

As a measure of national progress, GDP is inferior to the headline indicator of real net national disposable income per capita as it does not take account of income flows between overseas and Australia, depreciation of fixed capital used in the production process, or changes in the terms of trade. However, GDP is discussed here because it is possible to dissect GDP by geography and by industry to investigate different trends within Australia.

Between 1998-99 and 2008-09, Australia's GDP grew by about 36% (averaging growth of 3.2% per year) (ABS 2009a). In the same decade the population grew by 16% (averaging 1.5% a year) (ABS 2010).

GDP per capita increased by an average 1.8% per year over the 40-year period from 1968-69 to 2008-09. It decreased during the economic downturns, for example those of the early 1980s, the early 1990s and 2008-09.


  • National income glossary
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