Equivalised total household income (weekly) (HIED)
Equivalised total household income is household income adjusted by the application of an equivalence scale to facilitate comparison of income levels between households of differing size and composition. This variable reflects that a larger household would normally need more income than a smaller household to achieve the same standard of living. The 'modified OECD' equivalence scale is used.
Equivalised total household income can be viewed as an indicator of the economic resources available to a standardised household. For a lone person household, it is equal to household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the household income that would be needed by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing.
Family, lone person and group households
Annual income ranges are displayed within brackets.
$3,500 or more ($182,000 or more)
Partial income stated
All incomes not stated
Number of categories: 19
Not applicable (@@) category comprises:
- Non-private dwellings
- Unoccupied private dwellings
- Migratory, off-shore and shipping SA1s
- Other non-classifiable households
- Visitor only households
Question(s) from the Census form
What is the total of all income the person usually receives?
How this variable is created
This variable is created by summing the personal incomes reported by all household members aged 15 years and over and applying a weighting according to the 'modified OECD' equivalence scale.
The equivalence factor is built by summing all equivalence points allocated to each person in a household:
- 1 point to the first adult
- 0.5 points to each additional person who is 15 years and over
- 0.3 points to each child under the age of 15
As personal income is collected in ranges, median values are assigned to each range using data from the Survey of Income and Housing. For more information about this survey see the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide.
Households where all or at least one member aged 15 and over did not state an income are set to either:
- 'All incomes not stated'
- 'Partial income stated'
Households where at least one member aged 15 and over was away from the dwelling on Census night are also set to 'Partial incomes stated'.
Where children under 15 years were absent from the household on Census night, they were included in the calculation. Visitors and people in 'Not applicable' categories are excluded from the calculation. HIED is not calculated for households that comprise only visitors.
History and changes
This variable was first used in 2006, though other measures of household income had been used in previous Censuses. For 2016 the categories for annual income dollar ranges were revised.
For 2021, additional higher end income ranges were added.
Data use considerations
Equivalised total household income can be viewed as an indicator of the economic resources available to a standardised household. For a lone person household it is equal to household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the household income that would be needed by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing.
Alternatively, equivalised total household income can be viewed as an indicator of the economic resources available to everyone in a household. Mean equivalised household income is therefore calculated by adding the equivalised total household income of all households, and then dividing by the number of people. This enables people in large households to have the same contribution to the mean as people living alone.
Equivalised total household income is set to zero when total household income is negative, such as when losses incurred in a household's unincorporated business or other investments are greater than any positive income from any other sources.
Total family income is not equivalised. All people in a household benefit from the economies of scale for housing and other shared costs, regardless of whether they are in the same family or not. Therefore the most appropriate indicator of the standard of living of a family is still the equivalised income of the household in which they live.
A more detailed explanation is provided in Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia.