Median gross individual income for Indigenous people was $278 per week, or 59% of the median income of non-Indigenous people ($473). In 2001, the median individual income for Indigenous people was also 59% of the median for non-Indigenous people. Median individual income for Indigenous women was close to the median for Indigenous men ($278 per week for women compared with $277 per week for men). Non-Indigenous women reported median income of $367 compared with $627 for men.
Individual income is closely related to age and involvement in the labour market. Incomes are generally highest among people of prime working age, and lower for young people (many of whom may be students) and older people (who are less likely to be in the labour force).
Accordingly, for Indigenous people in 2006 the highest median income was for 25-44 year olds ($374 per week). Lower median incomes were reported for young people aged 15-24 years ($191 per week) and those aged 45 years and over ($283 per week). While the pattern was similar for the non-Indigenous population, incomes for people in the prime working age group were much higher than the corresponding Indigenous incomes.
Median Gross Individual Income(a),
by age group
Median individual income was lower in remote areas than non-remote areas for Indigenous people. In contrast, the median individual income for non-Indigenous people was highest in Remote and Very Remote areas.
Median Gross Individual Income(a) By Remoteness Areas,
Persons aged 15 years and over
Median income for Indigenous men was higher than median income for Indigenous women in Major Cities ($404 per week compared with $329), Inner Regional areas ($317 per week compared with $288) and Outer Regional areas ($299 per week compared with $289). However, in Remote and Very Remote areas, median income reported for Indigenous women exceeded the median income for men ($237 per week for men compared with $261 for women in Remote areas and $209 per week for men compared with $222 for women in Very Remote areas).
Differences in income largely reflect whether or not a person is engaged in paid work, and if so, their status in employment, occupation and hours of work. Median gross individual income for employed Indigenous people was $520 per week, or 72% of the non-Indigenous median ($722). Employed Indigenous women reported a lower median income than Indigenous men ($477 per week compared with $565, or 84% of the median for Indigenous men). In comparison, employed non-Indigenous women reported 69% of the median income of non-Indigenous men.
When comparing the median incomes of people working full-time, the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is smaller. Employed Indigenous people working full-time reported a median income of $702 per week compared with $884 for non-Indigenous people. The difference in income between men and women is also lessened when comparing only those people working full-time. Full-time employed Indigenous women reported a median income equal to 95% of the median income of men ($680 per week compared with $718). This difference was less than in the non-Indigenous population where full-time employed women reported a median income equal to 84% of the median income of men ($791 per week compared with $941).
Median Weekly Individual Income(a),
Among Indigenous people working full-time, median weekly incomes for Professionals ($942) and Managers ($896) were highest and median income for Labourers ($552) was lowest. This pattern was also observed in the non-Indigenous population.
Indigenous people generally reported lower incomes than non-Indigenous people in the same occupation when comparing only those working full-time. The median income of Indigenous Professionals working full-time was equal to 78% of the non-Indigenous median, and the median income of Indigenous Managers was equal to 82% of the non-Indigenous median. Median income for Indigenous Machinery Operators and Drivers working full-time was 98% of the non-Indigenous equivalent ($755 per week compared with $768).
Median Gross Individual Income by Occupation(a),
Persons employed full-time, aged 15 years and over