6523.0 - Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2005-06  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/08/2007   
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August 2, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEST)
Latest household income and wealth statistics: ABS

Average real household incomes in 2005-06 are 10% higher than in 2003-04 and 34% higher than in 1994-95, according to the latest survey results released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The real income of high income people rose by 36% over the eleven years to 2005-06. This compares to a rise of 31% for low income earners and 32% for middle income earners.

Middle income households contained fewer employed people than high income households (1.5 compared to 1.9). Low income households had an average of 0.6 employed people.

Of the selected life cycle groups identified in today's report, people living in older households (where the reference person was aged 65 and over) had the lowest mean incomes in 2005-06. In this particular life cycle group, older persons living alone were more likely than older couples to have government pensions and allowances as their principal source of income (78% compared to 68%), while older couples were more likely to fully own their own home (86% compared to 74%).

At the national level, mean incomes in the capital cities of Australia were 16% above those outside capital cities. There were also considerable differences in the average levels of income between the states and territories. Average incomes in the Australian Capital Territory were well above the national average and incomes in Tasmania and South Australia were at least 6% below the national average.

The wealthiest 20% of households in 2005-06 accounted for 61% of total household net worth, with average net worth of $1.7 million per household. In comparison, the poorest 20% of households accounted for 1% of total household net worth and had an average net worth of $27,000 per household.

Further information is available in Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 6523.0).

Media note
: Average household income is calculated after tax and adjusting for household size and composition. High income people are considered to be those in the top 20% of the income distribution. Middle income people are those in the middle 20% of the income distribution. Low income people are those between the bottom 10% and 30% of the income distribution.