The methodology used to compile the data in this release is based on the method (summarised below) in the Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Distribution of Household Income, Consumption and Wealth, 2009-10.
All distributional data points in the release are benchmarked to current price household estimates for income, consumption and wealth from the Australian System of National Accounts, 2021-22.
For biennial years 2003-04 to 2019-20, estimates are distributed for five household distributional indicators based on ABS household surveys:
- Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) – biennial years from 2003-04 to 2019-20
- ABS Household Expenditure Survey (HES) – 2003-04, 2009-10 and 2015-16
The five household distributional indicators are: main source of income; equivalised disposable income quintiles; household composition; age of household reference person; and equivalised net wealth quintiles.
Estimates for non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) included in the household sector in Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) are removed.
The household national accounts estimates for a particular year (macro) and the corresponding ABS household survey estimates (micro) were compared and coverage ratios (micro/macro) calculated. For some items, the macro and/or micro estimates were adjusted to derive the most relevant common scope for comparison. The corresponding micro household items were sub sectored into the following household groups: main source of income; equivalised disposable income quintiles; household composition; age of household reference person; and equivalised net worth quintiles.
The ASNA household components and aggregates were distributed to the five household groups:
- directly using the distribution of the equivalent micro component when the coverage ratio was considered adequate, for example, social assistance benefits
- indirectly by a related micro distribution when there was no direct micro distribution information for the national accounts item, for example the national accounts item non-life insurance claims were distributed using the micro distribution for total insurance premiums paid
- indirectly by creating a micro distribution ('synthesised') based on related micro distribution, for example, synthesised micro distribution was created for the national accounts item financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM) for consumer loans
- by the corresponding aggregate distribution for income (disposable income), consumption (final consumption expenditure), assets (total assets) and liabilities (total liabilities), when micro distributions either directly or indirectly are not available. For these national accounts items, the inclusion or exclusion of the item did not impact on the distribution of the national accounts aggregates
Very remote communities (VRC) and people living in non-private dwellings (NPD) populations that were out of scope of the micro surveys were excluded from the ASNA estimates and distributed separately using data from the 2006, 2011 and 2016 ABS Census of Population and Housing. These distributions were then added to the ASNA distributions based on the micro surveys to obtain the final distribution of the ASNA household income, consumption and wealth estimates.
For 2020-21 and 2021-22, the release includes extrapolated and modelled estimates for household distributional data for income, consumption and wealth for household indicators equivalised disposable income quintiles and age of household reference person. The models use unit record data from SIH 2017-18 and 2019-20 plus administrative data sources from government agencies and other ABS collections. For full list of sources used in the models, see the ‘Recent year models’ section below.
- models used to estimate gaps in micro distributional data, interpolation and extrapolation
- improvements to specific coverage (micro/macro) ratios
- method in the construction of a time series
- how data captures demographic shifts
- strength and weakness of the time series
- incremental improvements to the original method
Users are encouraged to refer to these releases to obtain a complete understanding of the methodology.