6524.0.55.002 - Personal Income in Australia, 2011-12 to 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/2019   
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Key statistics

During 2016-17:

  • the Total personal income for the 13.7 million persons who submitted a tax return was $856.2 billion
  • median income was $48,360, an increase of 1.4 per cent on the previous year
  • median income increased by 12.5 per cent, from 2011-12
  • Employee income is the highest contributor to Total personal income at 87.2 per cent (down from 87.6 per cent in the previous year)

Sources of Personal income
  • most persons (76.9 per cent) received Employee income as their main source (up from 76.7 per cent in the previous year)
  • Employee income was also the highest individual source of income, with a median of $49,083 (an increase of 1.4 per cent on the previous year)
  • the next highest source of income was Superannuation income, with a median of $20,669 (an increase of 3.7 per cent on the previous financial year), but this was the main source of income for only 1.7 per cent of persons (the same as the previous year)

Graph 1: Median Personal income by source

Graphical representation of the data in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Median Personal income by source

Median Income ($)

2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
2015-16
2016-17

Employee income
         43,173
         44,644
         45,725
         46,999
         48,413
         49,083
Own unincorporated business income
         10,303
         10,171
         10,953
         11,581
         11,669
         11,757
Investment income
392
360
337
293
242
214
Superannuation income
         18,184
         18,003
         18,857
         19,736
         19,933
         20,669
Total income
         42,987
         44,778
         45,828
         46,854
         47,692
         48,360



State comparison
  • The Australian Capital Territory continues to record the highest median Total income, but the second slowest growth rate over the six year period
  • Western Australia had the third highest median Total income, but the slowest overall growth rate over the six year period
  • New South Wales had fourth highest median Total income but the fastest growth rate over the six year period

A selection of income indicators are presented in Table 2, providing an overview of the distribution of income across Australia.


Table 2. Distribution indicators for Total personal income

Median Total Income
Median Total Income Growth Rate
Income Share



2016-17
Last year
Last 6 years
Received by top 1%
Received by top 5%
Received by top 10%
$
%
%
%
%
%

Australia 
48,360
1.4
12.5
9.4
22.5
33.6
New South Wales
48,700
1.3
13.7
10.7
24.2
35.2
Victoria
47,709
1.5
12.6
9.5
22.6
33.6
Queensland
47,425
1.2
11.5
8.3
21.0
32.0
South Australia
46,937
1.8
12.2
7.9
20.3
31.0
Western Australia
51,450
-2.0
6.9
9.0
22.1
33.5
Tasmania
44,437
1.4
13.2
7.2
19.2
29.8
Northern Territory
58,669
-1.3
12.3
6.4
18.3
29.1
Australian Capital Territory
63,038
0.0
10.4
6.5
18.4
28.9


Local government area median Total income

In 2016-17, the three local government areas with the highest median Total income in Australia were:
  • Ashburton in Western Australia,
  • Peppermint Grove in Western Australia, and
  • Roxby Downs in South Australia

The following median Personal incomes are for areas with more than 1,000 earners.

Table 3. Local government areas with the highest median Total income


New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
South Australia
LGA
$
LGA
$
LGA
$
LGA
$

Woollahra
      75,084
Stonnington
      61,847
Weipa
      77,798
Roxby Downs
      84,659
Mosman
      73,822
Yarra
      60,413
Isaac
      68,105
Walkerville
      59,114
North Sydney
      73,016
Port Phillip
      60,039
Mount Isa
      67,255
Unley
      56,603
Hunters Hill
      69,778
Bayside
      59,884
Cloncurry
      60,951
Burnside
      55,293
Lane Cove
      68,030
Boroondara
      57,294
Central Highlands
      56,673
Prospect
      54,255

Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory (a)
LGA
$
LGA
$
LGA
$
SA3
$

Ashburton
      99,988
Clarence
      48,283
Palmerston
      65,231
South Canberra
      77,093
Peppermint Grove
      85,705
Hobart
      47,903
Litchfield
      61,430
Molonglo
      73,026
Port Hedland
      81,173
Kingborough
      47,412
Darwin
      59,747
Woden Valley
      64,762
Karratha
      78,517
Brighton
      45,950
Alice Springs
      56,415
Gungahlin
      63,897
East Pilbara
      76,076
Sorell
      44,866
Katherine
      53,706
Weston Creek
      63,473

(a) The Australian Capital Territory does not have local government areas, so information is presented at the Statistical Area 3 level.

Income inequality - Gini coefficient

The Gini coefficient is a summary indicator between 0 and 1 that indicates the degree of inequality among total incomes within a region. A value of 0 indicates that all earners reported the same amount of income in that region. Higher values represent relatively higher levels of income inequality. The following Gini coefficients are for areas with more than 1,000 earners living within them and excludes the Australian Capital Territory, which does not have local government areas.

In 2016-17,

the following local government areas had the least income inequality (the lowest Gini coefficients) in Australia:
  • Brighton region in Tasmania
  • Weipa region in Queensland
  • Roxby Downs region in South Australia

the following local government areas, all in Western Australia, had the most income inequality (the highest Gini coefficients) in Australia:
  • Peppermint Grove
  • Cottesloe
  • Nedlands

Data from the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) provides the best source of information for calculating Gini coefficients and measuring income inequality. As such, estimates from Household Income and Wealth, Australia (cat. not. 6523.0) should be used wherever possible, particularly at the Australia, State and Territory, and Greater Capital City Statistical Area levels. Gini coefficients from Personal Income in Australia should be considered complementary information, which provide insights for lower geographic levels.


Table 4. Local government areas with the lowest Gini coefficients, 2016-17

LGA
State/Territory
Gini
Proportion of high earners
(top quartile)
Income share
received by top 10% of earners
Median income
Mean income
coefficient
%
%
$
$

Brighton
Tasmania
0.366
14.8
23.7
         45,950
           49,012
Weipa
Queensland
0.370
47.8
24.7
         77,798
           84,734
Roxby Downs
South Australia
0.376
51.8
22.2
         84,659
           87,325
Playford
South Australia
0.381
13.3
24.8
         44,563
           47,730
Palmerston
Northern Territory
0.381
34.8
26.4
         65,231
           73,505



Table 5. Local government areas with the highest Gini coefficients, 2016-17

LGA
State/Territory
Gini
Proportion of high earners
(top quartile)
Income share
received by top 10% of earners
Median income
Mean income
coefficient
%
%
$
$

Peppermint Grove
Western Australia
0.719
52.2
60.0
         85,705
         236,678
Cottesloe
Western Australia
0.706
46.3
59.7
         73,123
         181,139
Nedlands
Western Australia
0.668
44.8
53.3
         68,874
         147,811
Mosman Park
Western Australia
0.666
40.3
53.8
         60,766
         128,534
Mosman
New South Wales
0.664
46.4
54.6
         73,822
         161,608