6524.0.55.002 - Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas, 2011-2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/06/2018   
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Age of earner as reported on the Individual Tax Return.


Annuities are guaranteed regular and recurring receipts, generally from an insurance company, the right to which was purchased with a lump sum or regular contributions at some point in the past.


An entity of a financial or non-financial nature, owned by the household or its members, and from which economic benefits may be derived by holding or use over a period of time.

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography used by the ABS to enable the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated. For further information refer to Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016.

Disposable income

Gross income less income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge i.e. remaining income after taxes are deducted, which is available to support consumption and/or saving. Disposable income is sometimes referred to as net income.


Dividends may be the main source of income for people who run their own incorporated business. They can be:

  • 'franked' which are shares of company profit paid or credited by an Australian resident public company from profits on which Australian company tax has been paid, or
  • 'unfranked' which are those shares of company profit paid by an Australian resident company from profits on which Australian company tax has not been paid.


Persons (including children) who receive income (either positive or negative) from employee income, investment income, own unincorporated business income, superannuation income or other income.


Employees are defined as persons who worked for a private or public sector employer and received pay for the reference period in the form of wages or salaries, a commission while also receiving a retainer, tips, piece rates or payments in kind. Persons who operated their own incorporated enterprises with or without hiring employees are also included as employees.

Employee income

An employee's total remuneration, whether monetary or in kind, received as a return to labour from an employer or from a person's own incorporated business. It comprises wages and salaries, bonuses, amounts salary sacrificed, non-cash benefits such as the use of motor vehicles and subsidised housing (where valued over a certain threshold, see Explanatory Notes for more information), and termination payments.

Employee income usually includes all employer social contributions. However, many components of this income are not reported on the Personal Income Tax (PIT) dataset and hence are not included in this publication.

Financial assets

An asset whose value arises not from its physical existence (as would a building, piece of land, or capital equipment) but from a contractual relationship. Financial assets are mostly financial claims (with the exception of shares and value of own unincorporated business). Financial claims entitle the owner to receive a payment, or a series of payments, from an institutional unit to which the owner has provided funds. Examples include accounts held with financial institutions (including offset accounts), ownership of an incorporated business, shares, debentures and bonds, trusts, superannuation funds, and loans to other persons.

Gini coefficient

A summary measure of inequality of income distribution. For more information see the Explanatory Notes.

Government pensions and allowances

Income support payments from government to persons under social security and related government programs. Included are pensions and allowances received by aged, disabled, unemployed and sick persons, families and children, veterans or their survivors, and study allowances for students.

Gross income

Income from all sources, whether monetary or in kind, before income tax, the Medicare levy, the Medicare levy surcharge, and the temporary budget repair levy are deducted.

Greater Capital City Statistical Area Structure

Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs) represent the functional extent of each of the eight state and territory capital cities. They were designed to reflect labour markets using the 2011 Census travel to work data.


Income consists of all annual receipts, that are received by an individual, and which are reported on an Individual Tax Return.

Individual Tax Return

The annual tax return submitted by individuals to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Investment income

Income received as a result of ownership of assets. It comprises returns from financial assets (interest, dividends), and from non-financial assets (rent).

Local Government Area (LGA)

These areas are the spatial units which represent the geographical areas of incorporated local government councils. LGAs include sub categories such as Cities (C), NSW Local Government Areas (A), Boroughs (B), Rural Cities (RC), Towns (T), Shires (S), District Councils (DC), Municipalities (M), SA Municipal Councils (M), SA Regional Councils (RegC) and Qld Regional Councils (R). Data are presented for LGA boundaries at 2017.

Main source of income

The income source from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the main source is undefined. As there are several possible sources, the main source may account for less than 50% of gross income.

Mean income

The total income received by a group of units divided by the number of units in the group.

Median age

That level of age which divides the units in a group into two equal parts, one half having incomes above the median and the other half having incomes below the median.

Median income

That level of income which divides the units in a group into two equal parts, one half having incomes above the median and the other half having incomes below the median.

Medicare levy

The Medicare levy is a specific tax based on individual income.

Medicare levy surcharge

The Medicare levy surcharge is a levy, or an additional tax, on some Australian taxpayers.

Negative income

Income may be negative when a loss accrues to an individual as an owner or partner in unincorporated businesses, rental properties or other investment income. Losses occur when operating expenses and depreciation are greater than gross receipts.

Other income

Income other than employee income, own unincorporated business income, investment income and superannuation income. This includes other current receipts from sources such as child support, royalties, workers' compensation and scholarships.

Own unincorporated business income

The profit/loss that accrues to persons as owners of, or partners in, unincorporated businesses. Profit/loss consists of the value of gross output of the business after the deduction of operating expenses (including depreciation). Losses occur when operating expenses are greater than gross receipts and are treated as negative income.


When all persons in the population are ranked from the lowest to the highest on the basis of some characteristic such as their income, they can then be divided into equal sized groups. Division into 100 groups gives percentiles. The highest value of the characteristic in the twentieth percentile is denoted P20. The median or the top of the 50th percentile is denoted P50. P20, and P80 denote the highest values in the 20th, and 80th percentiles. Ratios of values at the top of selected percentiles, such as P80/P20, are often called percentile ratios.

Percentile ratios

Percentile ratios summarise the relative distance between two points in a distribution. To illustrate the full spread of the income distribution, the percentile ratio needs to refer to points near the extremes of the distribution, for example, the P80/P20 ratio.The P80/P50 and P50/P20 ratios focus on comparing the ends of the income distribution with the midpoint.

Positively skewed income distribution

The distribution of income tends to be asymmetrical, with a small number of people having relatively high incomes and a larger number of people having relatively lower incomes. The greater the asymmetry, the greater the difference there will be between the mean and the median, and the more positively skewed the income distribution is said to be.


Groupings that result from ranking all people in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their personal income and then dividing the population into four equal groups, each comprising 25% of the estimated population.

Rest of State

Under the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), Rest of State is any area not defined as being part of the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs). In the case of Australian Capital Territory, there is no Rest of State balance.


A share is a contract between the issuing company and the owner of the share which gives the latter an interest in the management of the corporation and the right to participate in profits. The "value of shares" excludes the value of shares held by individuals in their own incorporated business. Such shares are included in "value of own incorporated business".

Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)

Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s) are part of the ASGS and are general purpose, medium sized areas designed to represent communities that interact socially and economically. SA2s generally have an average population of 10,000 persons, or a population size range of 3,000-25,000 persons, tending towards the lower limit of this range in rural and remote regions.

Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3)

Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s) are part of the ASGS and have been created as a standard for the analysis of ABS data at broader geographies through the clustering of SA2s with similar regional characteristics. Generally, SA3s have a population size range of 30,000-130,000 persons.

Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)

Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s) are part of the ASGS and are used for the output of a variety of regional data. In regional areas, SA4s tend to have populations of between 100,000 to 300,000 people. In metropolitan areas, SA4s tend to have larger populations (300,000 – 500,000 people).


A long-term savings arrangement which operates primarily to provide income for retirement.

Superannuation/annuity income

Income from superannuation, annuities and private pensions such as allocated pensions.

Temporary budget repair levy

In 2014-15, the government introduced a temporary budget repair levy. Individual taxpayers with a taxable income of more than $180,000 per year will have additional tax payable.


Any type of managed fund which involves the pooling of investors' money in order for a trustee or professional manager to administer that fund. Examples include listed and unlisted public unit trusts, cash management trusts, property trusts and family trusts used only for investment purposes.

Unincorporated business

A business in which the owner(s) and the business are the same legal entity, so that, for example, the owner(s) are personally liable for any business debts that are incurred. The business may be registered (in their own state) as a sole trader, partnership or firm; however they are not registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and are not legally a company.

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