6530.0 - Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/09/2011   
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6 September 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

How are Australians spending their money?

Half the money that Australian households spend on goods and services goes on housing, food and transport, according to a major survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The latest Household Expenditure Survey (HES) showed the average Australian household spent $1,236 per week on goods and services in 2009–10, an increase of 38% ($343 per week) from the previous 2003–04 survey. In contrast, prices as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 19%, indicating a rise in real living standards over the five years.

The largest increases in average weekly household expenditure since 2003–04 were:
  • current housing costs (selected dwelling), up $80 (55%), due in part to increased mortgage interest payments, up $35 (75%) and increased rent payments, up $32 (68%)
  • food and non-alcoholic beverages, up $51 (34%)
  • recreation, up $47 (41%)
  • miscellaneous goods and services, up $37 (46%), partly due to increased spending on education fees for primary and secondary schools, up $10 (107%).

The level of weekly expenditure varied across states and territories. Households in the Australian Capital Territory ($1,536) and the Northern Territory ($1,500) recorded the highest average weekly expenditures. The lowest average weekly expenditures were in South Australia ($1,044) and Tasmania ($1,064). The average weekly expenditure of households located in capital cities was $1,310, compared with $1,107 in areas outside of capital cities.

Couple family households with dependent children had much higher average weekly expenditure on goods and services ($1,748) than the national average. Households which were lone persons aged 65 years or over ($446), had much lower weekly expenditure on average.

Further information is available in Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6530.0)

Media notes
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.