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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 national income(a) per capita - selected OECD countries
Graph Image for Gross national income(a) per capita - selected OECD countries

Footnote(s): (a) US dollars, current prices and adjusted for purchasing power. (b) Data refer to fiscal year. (c) Data sourced from the World Bank, using the Atlas method and current US$.

Source(s): OECD Factbook 2010; The World Bank

Average annual GDP per capita growth - selected OECD countries - 1998 to 2008
Graph Image for Average annual GDP per capita growth - selected OECD countries - 1998 to 2008

Footnote(s): (a) Data refer to fiscal year.

Source(s): OECD Factbook 2010

Real GDP growth - selected OECD countries - 2008 to 2009
Graph Image for Real GDP growth - selected OECD countries - 2008 to 2009

Source(s): OECD Economic Outlook no. 87

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS

Gross National Income

There is no data source available that provides directly comparable international data for the headline indicator for national income: real net disposable income per capita. An indicator available for OECD countries that captures a similar concept is Gross National Income (GNI). GNI reflects a country's capacity to purchase goods and services, which influences material living standards and is important for other aspects of progress. It is important to point out that GNI is based on current prices, not real terms (i.e. adjusted to remove the effects of price change).

In 2008, Australia's GNI per capita was US$36,900, up 4.4% per year from 1998 (US$23,900). The UK (US$36,300) and Japan (US$35,300) had a very similar level of GNI per capita to Australia.

In 2008, the US had one of the highest levels of GNI per capita (US$47,300). Non-member OECD countries China and India had very low GNI per capita (US$2,900 and US$1,000 respectively), although they experienced high levels of growth over the ten years to 2008 (14.0% and 15.8% per year respectively). On average, OECD countries experienced an average rise of 4.2% per year in GNI per capita over the ten years to 2008.

Average annual GDP per capita growth

To examine changes over time in national income, growth in GDP per capita is a useful indicator.

During the period 1998–2008, OECD countries experienced an average per capita growth in GDP of 4.2%. Of those included in OECD statistics, non-member countries China and India reported the strongest growth with an average annual growth of 11.6% and 8.0% respectively. To put this into context, China and India started from the lowest base in 1998 and were still at very low levels of GDP per capita in 2008. The lowest annual average growth in GDP per capita between 1998 and 2008 occurred in Italy (2.8%). Annual average growth in GDP per capita in Australia during this period was 4.6%, similar to the United Kingdom (4.3%).

GDP and the global financial crisis

For most developed countries, the recent global financial crisis (GFC) resulted in the steepest decline in economic activity since the great depression (OECD 2010b). In the year to 2009, GDP fell sharply across most OECD economies. Among the largest declines was Ireland, falling by 7.1%. Some of the largest economies also had deep downturns, with Japan declining by 5.2%, Germany and the United Kingdom (each down by 4.9%), and the United States declining by 2.4%.

Australia, along with Poland and Korea, were the only countries to escape negative real GDP growth in the year to 2009 with respective GDP growth of 1.4%, 1.8% and 0.2%. However, a number of non-member OECD countries managed relatively strong growth throughout the GFC. Among the significant non-member OECD countries in 2009, China and India had the strongest performing economies with annual growth of 8.7% and 5.7% (IMF 2010).

RELATED PAGES

  • National income glossary
  • National income references
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