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Equivalised total household income (weekly) (HIED)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

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.

Scope

Family, lone person and group households

Categories

Annual income ranges are displayed within brackets.

CodeCategory

01

Nil income

02

$1-$149 ($1-$7,799)

03

$150-$299 ($7,800-$15,599)

04

$300-$399 ($15,600-$20,799)

05

$400-$499 ($20,800-$25,999)

06

$500-$649 ($26,000-$33.799)

07

$650-$799 ($33,800-$41,599)

08

$800-$999 ($41,600-$51,999)

09

$1,000-$1,249 ($52,000-$64,999)

10

$1,250-$1,499 ($65,000-$77,999)

11

$1,500-$1,749 ($78,000-$90,999)

12

$1,750-$1,999 ($91,000-$103,999)

13

$2,000-$2,499 ($104,000-$129,999)

14

$2,500-$2,999 ($130,000-$155,999)

15

$3,000-$3,499 ($156,000-$181,999)

16

$3,500 or more ($182,000 or more)

17

Partial income stated

&&

All incomes not stated

@@

Not applicable

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?

    What is the total of all income the person usually receives?
    What is the total of all income Person 1 usually receives?

    Do not deduct: tax, superannuation contributions, amounts salary sacrificed, or any other automatic deductions.

    Include:
    • Wages and salaries
    - Regular overtime
    - Commissions and bonuses

    • Government pensions, benefits and allowances

    • Profit or loss from:
    - Unincorporated business/farm (e.g. sole traders, partnerships)
    - Rental properties

    • Other income from:
    - Superannuation
    - Child support
    - Dividends from shares
    - Interest
    - Workers’ compensation
    - Any other income sources

    More information

    Person's usual total income

    $3,500 or more per week
    ($182,000 or more per year)

    $3,000 - $3,499 per week
    ($156,000 - $181,999 per year)

    $2,000 - $2,999 per week
    ($104,000 - $155,999 per year)

    $1,750 - $1,999 per week
    ($91,000 - $103,999 per year)

    $1,500 - $1,749 per week
    ($78,000 - $90,999 per year)

    $1,250 - $1,499 per week
    ($65,000 - $77,999 per year)

    $1,000 - $1,249 per week
    ($52,000 - $64,999 per year)

    $800 - $999 per week
    ($41,600 - $51,999 per year)

    $650 - $799 per week
    ($33,800 - $41,599 per year)

    $500 - $649 per week
    ($26,000 - $33,799 per year)

    $400 - $499 per week
    ($20,800 - $25,999 per year)

    $300 - $399 per week
    ($15,600 - $20,799 per year)

    $150 - $299 per week
    ($7,800 - $15,599 per year)

    $1 - $149 per week
    ($1 - $7,799 per year)

    $0 or nil income

    Negative income
      Additional instructions relating to the question on: What is the total of all income the person usually receives?
      What is the total of all income Person 1 usually receives?

      Do not deduct: tax, superannuation contributions, amounts salary sacrificed, or any other automatic deductions.

      Include:
      • Wages and salaries
      ­ - Regular overtime
      ­ - Commissions and bonuses

      • Government pensions, benefits and allowances

      • Profit or loss from:
      ­ - Unincorporated business/farm (e.g. sole traders, partnerships)
      ­ - Rental properties

      • Other income from:
      ­ - Superannuation
      ­ - Child support
      ­ - Dividends from shares
      ­ - Interest
      ­ - Workers’ compensation
      ­ - Any other income sources

      More information

      Information from this question provides an indication of living standards in different areas.

      Count total income from all sources, not just a regular wage or salary. Total income is the person's personal income before any tax, superannuation contributions, amounts salary sacrificed or other automatic payments are deducted.

      If the person is currently affected by COVID lockdown restrictions, report the total income they usually received before the lockdown began.

      Government pensions, benefits and allowances
      Include:
      • Age Pension
      • Family Tax Benefit
      • Parenting Payment
      • Disability Support Pension
      • JobSeeker Payment
      • Youth and student allowances
      • Carer Allowance
      • Any other government pension, benefit or allowance
      Note: remember to include the total value of any pensions, benefits and other government allowances that the person is currently receiving.

      Business owners and self-employed people
      Business owners and self-employed people should include the total profit or loss from the operations of their business, or their share of the business in a partnership.
      The profit or loss of a business is calculated as its gross receipts less its operation expenses (such as rent, materials and fuel costs).
      If the person has other sources of income, such as wages or government allowances, these should be added to their business income to calculate their total income from all sources.

      Other income
      For interest and dividends, calculate the amount the person expects to receive in a full year and add this to their total yearly income from other sources; divide by 26 to work out a fortnightly amount; or, divide by 52 to work out a weekly amount.
      For other regular income, such as superannuation or child support, include the amount the person currently receives for one week or fortnight, or calculate the amount they expect to receive in a full year and add this to their total yearly income from other sources.
      Include Private Pensions and Workers Compensation under Other income.

      Negative income
      Negative income occurs when the operating expenses are higher than the gross receipts (or revenue) of a self-employed person, business or a rental property. A person has negative income if these losses are greater than any income, benefits or allowances received from other sources.

      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.

      Related variables and glossary terms

      • Total household income (weekly) (HIND)
      • Total personal income (weekly) (INCP)