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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LOW, MIDDLE AND HIGH INCOME AND WEALTH HOUSEHOLDS

Households with middle and high incomes tend to have a corresponding level of economic resources and wellbeing. Low income households, however, do not always have a lower level of economic wellbeing, because low income households may have stores of wealth which help to support their living standards.

In this section, the characteristics of households with different income and wealth levels are compared.

To compare different income levels:

  • High income households refers to the 20% of households in the highest equivalised disposable household income quintile.
  • Middle income households refers to the 20% of households in the third equivalised disposable household income quintile.
  • Low income households refers to the 18% of households in the lowest equivalised disposable household income quintile, adjusted to exclude the first and second percentiles.

This low income definition was introduced in SIH 2013–14. This definition better captures households that have low economic resources by excluding those with nil or negative income, or income significantly below government pension rates. Such households often are either experiencing a temporary economic setback or have stores of wealth to support their living costs.

Equivalised disposable household income (EDHI) estimates are adjusted by equivalence factors to standardise them for variations in household size and composition, while taking into account the economies of scale that arise from the sharing of dwellings. When discussing income in this section, we are referring to EDHI.

To compare different wealth levels:
  • High wealth households refers to the 20% of households in the highest net worth quintile.
  • Middle wealth households refers to the 20% of households in the third net worth quintile.
  • Low wealth households refers to the 20% of households in the lowest net worth quintile.

For more information see the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2017–18 (available from the 'related information' tab).