1370.0.55.001 - Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/10/2011   
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Household economic wellbeing

Graph Image for Average real equivalised disposable household weekly income(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Base year is 1999-2000 and equals 100. Based on 2009-10 dollars, adjusted using changes in the Consumer Price Index. (b) Data have been interpolated for years ended 30 June 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009.

Source(s): ABS data available on request, 1999-2000 - 2009-10 Survey of Income and Housing

Household economic wellbeing is largely determined by a household's command over its economic resources and, in turn, its ability to maintain a minimum material standard of living. Household economic resources provide the means through which households fund their consumption of goods and services. The economic resources of income (both in the form of receipts and as the direct provision by government of goods and services, such as free or subsidised healthcare) and wealth, and the availability of both to fund consumption, can be used to measure household economic wellbeing and progress.

For most people the level of income that they and other family members receive is a major determinant of household economic resources. People living in households with low income may be less likely to have sufficient economic resources to support an acceptable standard of living.

The average real equivalised disposable (after income tax) household weekly income of low income households and middle income households rose between 1999-2000 and 2009-10, up by 38% for both groups. However, part of this increase reflects improvements to the way income is measured from 2003-04 onwards (Endnote 1).

For a more in-depth discussion about how household economic wellbeing relates to progress and whether it is improving in Australia, please see the Household economic wellbeing chapter in Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010 (cat. no. 1370.0).


1. Estimates presented for 2007–08 and 2009-10 are not directly comparable with estimates for previous cycles due to the improvements made to measuring income introduced in the 2007–08 cycle. Estimates for 2003–04 and 2005–06 have been recompiled to reflect the new measures of income, however not all components introduced in 2007-08 are available for earlier cycles.


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