6523.0 - Household Income and Wealth, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/07/2019   
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CHANGES IN INCOME OVER TIME

Change in the distribution of income and wealth over time are a key area of interest for social and economic policy analysts and researchers. Distribution analysis can indicate whether the material living standards of the community are improving evenly across the population.

Between 1997–98 and 2017–18, the mean income of:

  • low income households increased by $140 per week to reach $433 in 2017–18
  • middle income households increased by $311 per week to reach $902 in 2017–18
  • high income households increased by $873 per week to reach $2,142 in 2017–18.

Graph 1 - REAL(a) MEAN WEEKLY EDHI(b), by income group, 1997–98 to 2017–18(c)
Graph - Mean weekly equivalised disposable income adjusted for 2017-18 dollars, by adjusted lowest, middle and high income groups for Australia, from 1997-98 to 2017-18
Footnotes: (a) In 2017–18 dollars, adjusted using changes in the Consumer Price Index (b) Equivalised disposable household income (c) Survey of Income and Housing data was collected in labelled years (d) In 2007–08 there was a change in income standards, see Explanatory Notes for more information
Source: ABS Survey of Income and Housing, various years

All income groups have experienced a real increase in their income since the mid-1990s. Some of the growth in middle and high income groups was due to a broadening of the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) income measure from 2003–04, with further improvements in 2007–08. However, there were also real increases in average incomes during this period.