Australian National Accounts: Distribution of Household Income, Consumption and Wealth

Latest release

Integrates ABS micro and macro data to produce distributional information of household income, consumption and wealth

Reference period
2021-22 financial year

About this release

This release includes:

  • Estimates for 2020-21 and 2021-22 on the distribution of household income, consumption and wealth by equivalised disposable income quintiles and age of reference person.
  • Updated estimates for 2019-20 on the distribution of household income, consumption and wealth by all distributional indicators: main source of income, equivalised disposable income quintiles, household composition, age of reference person, and equivalised household net worth quintiles

The data tables in this issue include some changes. Please see the 'Times series presentation' section in the Methodology for more information.

This issue includes new data tables:

  • Coverage ratios of micro and macro estimates from 2003-04 to 2019-20
  • Financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM) from 2003-04 to 2021-22

Income

Compensation of employees

Compensation of employees (COE) per household increased 4.7% to $102,877 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 4.1% rise to $15,319 for the lowest income quintile
  • 4.1% rise to $44,272 for the second income quintile
  • 4.5% rise to $86,551 for the third income quintile
  • 4.8% rise to $135,426 for the fourth income quintile
  • 4.9% rise to $238,916 for the highest income quintile

The increases reflect COE growth in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Health Care and Social Assistance, Construction, Administrative and Support Services, and Public Administration and Safety industries over the period. Industries which were adversely impacted by COVID-19 in 2019-20 and 2020-21 such as Retail Trade, and Accommodation and Food Services had weaker COE growth in 2021-22 partly due to the end of the JobKeeper program in March 2021. Households in the lowest, second and third quintiles have higher concentrations of employment in these industries compared to the fourth and highest quintiles.

Social assistance benefits

Social assistance benefits per household decreased 4.0% to $15,403 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 4.3% fall to $26,051 for the lowest income quintile
  • 4.2% fall to $25,653 for the second income quintile
  • 4.0% fall to $13,972 for the third income quintile
  • 3.1% fall to $6,959 for the fourth income quintile
  • 2.5% fall to $3,550 for the highest income quintile

The decreases reflect the end of government COVID-19 support payments to households in March 2021 such as the Economic Support Payment and the Coronavirus Supplement. There was also a decline in the number of social assistance benefit recipients in 2021-22 as the economy and labour market began to recover. While households across all quintiles received COVID-19 support payments, the majority of benefit recipients were in households in the lowest, second or third quintiles.

Gross disposable income

Gross disposable income per household increased 3.7% to $139,064 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 0.8% rise to $54,134 for the lowest income quintile
  • 2.4% rise to $86,689 for the second income quintile
  • 3.9% rise to $117,495 for the third income quintile
  • 4.1% rise to $154,434 for the fourth income quintile
  • 4.3% rise to $288,311 for the highest income quintile

COE was the major contributor to gross disposable income growth for all quintiles in 2021-22. Social assistance benefits, which was the major contributor to growth for the lowest and second quintiles in 2020-21, detracted from growth in 2021-22 coinciding with the end of COVID-19 support programs and decrease in the number of social assistance benefit recipients.

Consumption

Final consumption expenditure (FCE) per household increased 5.9% to $104,514 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 4.6% rise to $59,904 for the lowest income quintile
  • 4.9% rise to $74,311 for the second income quintile
  • 5.2% rise to $96,621 for the third income quintile
  • 5.8% rise to $117,796 for the fourth income quintile
  • 7.3% rise to $177,037 for the highest income quintile

The increases reflect the recovery in household spending, after a decrease in FCE per household between 2017-18 and 2019-20, the first decline in the time series driven by COVID-19 restrictions. The rise in FCE in 2021-22 coincides with the reopening of the economy and international borders, and resumption of supply and demand for discretionary services.

Saving

Gross saving per household decreased 2.6% to $34,550 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 61.3% fall to $-5,769 for the lowest income quintile
  • 10.4% fall to $12,378 for the second income quintile
  • 1.5% fall to $20,874 for the third income quintile
  • 1.0% fall to $36,638 for the fourth income quintile
  • 0.2% fall to $111,274 for the highest income quintile

The fall in savings reflect the recovery in household spending as the economy reopened, combined with moderate growth in gross disposable income in 2021-22. The decline follows a period of elevated savings for households across all quintiles, where household income was boosted by COVID-19 support payments and spending was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Redistribution of income

After the impact of government and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) redistribution policies (income tax, social assistance benefits and social transfers in kind), the share of disposable income in 2021-22:

  • rose from 4.1% to 12.0% for the lowest income quintile
  • rose from 9.2% to 15.2% for the second income quintile
  • rose from 15.7% to 17.4% for the third income quintile
  • fell from 23.2% to 20.5% for the fourth income quintile
  • fell from 47.8% to 34.9% for the highest income quintile

Assets

Assets per household increased 7.4% to $1,688,099 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 10.6% rise to $679,985 for the lowest income quintile
  • 9.3% rise to $917,683 for the second income quintile
  • 7.7% rise to $1,380,455 for the third income quintile
  • 7.1% rise to $1,764,645 for the fourth income quintile
  • 6.4% rise to $3,768,486 for the highest income quintile

Increases in residential dwelling and land values drove the rise in household assets in 2020-21 and 2021-22. As COVID-19 restrictions gradually eased over this period, increased housing market activity and demand for housing resulted in a strong rise in residential property prices.

In 2020-21, positive conditions through the year in domestic and overseas share markets drove valuation gains in household superannuation balances (measured as insurance technical reserves), offsetting the impacts of COVID-19 early release of superannuation withdrawals. In 2021-22, superannuation balances per household declined due to poor performances across domestic and overseas share markets in the second half of the year driven by unfavourable conditions such as fears of surging inflation, anticipation of cash rate increases by central banks, and the war in Ukraine.

Liabilities

Liabilities per household increased 7.4% to $276,462 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 8.2% rise to $124,063 for the lowest income quintile
  • 8.1% rise to $145,001 for the second income quintile
  • 8.1% rise to $237,285 for the third income quintile
  • 7.5% rise to $342,877 for the fourth income quintile
  • 6.6% rise to $544,339 for the highest income quintile

The increases were driven by rising household debt, as record low interest rates, and government schemes such as first home buyer and HomeBuilder policies spurred demand for housing loans.

Wealth

Net worth (wealth) per household increased 7.4% to $1,411,637 between 2020-21 and 2021-22 with a:

  • 11.2% rise to $555,922 for the lowest income quintile
  • 9.6% rise to $772,683 for the second income quintile
  • 7.7% rise to $1,143,170 for the third income quintile
  • 7.0% rise to $1,421,768 for the fourth income quintile
  • 6.4% rise to $3,224,147 for the highest income quintile

Despite household debt increasing and the value of superannuation balances declining, the rise in residential property prices due to the strong housing market drove an overall increase in household wealth in 2021-22.

Data downloads

This release previously used catalogue number 5204.0.55.011.

Data files
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