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Total personal income (weekly) (INCP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable indicates the total income (in ranges) that a person usually receives each week. Equivalent annual income amounts appear in brackets.

Scope

Persons aged 15 years and over

Categories

CodeCategory

01

Negative income

02

Nil income

03

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

04

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

05

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

06

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

07

$500-$649 ($26,000-$33,799)

08

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

09

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

$2,000-$2,999 ($104,000-$155,999)

15

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

16

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

&&

Not stated

@@

Not applicable

VV

Overseas visitor

Number of categories:  19

Not applicable (@@) category comprises:

  • Persons aged under 15 years

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

    $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

      More information

      Additional information relating to the question on: What is the total of all income the person usually receives?

      More information

      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 captured automatically from mark box responses on the Census form. Respondents are asked to only mark one response. Where a respondent provides more than one response, the responses are accepted in the order they appear on the form and the extra responses are rejected.

      History and changes

      Questions on income were first included in the Census in 1933 and have been asked in each Census since 1976. In 2006, this variable was referred to as 'Individual Income (weekly)'.

      Income ranges were updated in 2016.

      For 2021, an additional income range has been added to reflect changes to the personal income question options. '15 $3,000 or more ($156,000)' has been split into two categories:

      • '15 $3,000-$3,499 ($156,000-$181,999)' 
      • '16 $3,500 or more ($182,000 or more)'

      This change accounts for higher income ranges.

      Data use considerations

      Comparison to other ABS surveys

      Even though the Census and other ABS surveys, such as the Survey of income and housing and Personal income in Australia, 2011-2012 to 2017-2018, collect similar data relating to personal income, they are not directly comparable. This is due to differences in scope, collection methodology, the time period the collection relates to, and conceptual differences. It is likely that data from each of these collections will deliver different outcomes making it important for data users to understand the key conceptual differences between each collection in order to most appropriately use it. 

      Negative income

      Negative income in the Census includes people who own their own business and report negative income due to losses or negative gearing of rentals.

      Lockdown

      A number of regions across the country were in various stages of lockdown on Census day, and the week preceding it, resulting in a greater number of people being temporarily stood down, which impacted their income. To gain a better understanding of the true income levels of Australians, guidance for people in lockdown on how to correctly respond was provided at the time on the Census website, as follows: 

      'Please reflect your usual income, as it was before the commencement of the current COVID lockdown period.'

      Related variables and glossary terms