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Personal Income in Australia

Presents regional data on the number of income earners, amounts received, and the distribution of income for the 2011-12 to 2016-17 financial years

Reference period
2011-12 to 2016-17

Key statistics

  • Total personal income was $856.2 billion.
  • Median personal income was $48,360, up 1.4 per cent on 2015-16.
  • The largest income category was employee income, at 87.2 per cent of total personal income.

Main features

Sources of personal income

  • most persons (76.9 per cent) received Employee income as their main source (up from 76.7 per cent in the previous year)
  • Employee income was also the highest individual source of income, with a median of $49,083 (an increase of 1.4 per cent on the previous year)
  • the next highest source of income was Superannuation income, with a median of $20,669 (an increase of 3.7 per cent on the previous financial year), but this was the main source of income for only 1.7 per cent of persons (the same as the previous year)
     
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Table 1 - Distribution indicators for total personal income

 Median Income ($)
 2011-122012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17
Employee income43,17344,64445,72546,99948,41349,083
Own unincorporated business income10,30310,17110,95311,58111,66911,757
Investment income392360337293242214
Superannuation income18,18418,00318,85719,73619,93320,669
Total income42,98744,77845,82846,85447,69248,360
   

State comparison

  • The Australian Capital Territory continues to record the highest median Total income, but the second slowest growth rate over the six year period
  • Western Australia had the third highest median Total income, but the slowest overall growth rate over the six year period
  • New South Wales had fourth highest median Total income but the fastest growth rate over the six year period
     

A selection of income indicators are presented in Table 1, providing an overview of the distribution of income across Australia.

Table 2 - Distribution indicators for total personal income

 
Median Total Income
Median Total Income Growth Rate
Income Share
 
2016-17
Last year
Last 6 years
Received by top 1%
Received by top 5%
Received by top 10%
 
$
%
%
%
%
%
Australia
48,360
1.4
12.5
9.4
22.5
33.6
New South Wales
48,700
1.3
13.7
10.7
24.2
35.2
Victoria
47,709
1.5
12.6
9.5
22.6
33.6
Queensland
47,425
1.2
11.5
8.3
21.0
32.0
South Australia
46,937
1.8
12.2
7.9
20.3
31.0
Western Australia
51,450
-2.0
6.9
9.0
22.1
33.5
Tasmania
44,437
1.4
13.2
7.2
19.2
29.8
Northern Territory
58,669
-1.3
12.3
6.4
18.3
29.1
Australian Capital Territory
63,038
0.0
10.4
6.5
18.4
28.9
   

Local government area median total income

In 2016-17, the three local government areas with the highest median total income in Australia were:

  • Ashburton in Western Australia,
  • Peppermint Grove in Western Australia, and
  • Roxby Downs in South Australia
     

The following median personal incomes are for areas with more than 1,000 earners.

Table 3 - Local government areas with the highest median total income

New South WalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth Australia
LGA$LGA$LGA$LGA$
Woollahra
75,084
Stonnington
61,847
Weipa
77,798
Roxby Downs
84,659
Mosman
73,822
Yarra
60,413
Isaac
68,105
Walkerville
59,114
North Sydney
73,016
Port Phillip
60,039
Mount Isa
67,255
Unley
56,603
Hunters Hill
69,778
Bayside
59,884
Cloncurry
60,951
Burnside
55,293
Lane Cove
68,030
Boroondara
57,294
Central Highlands
56,673
Prospect
54,255
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory (a)
LGA
$
LGA
$
LGA
$
SA3
$
Ashburton
99,988
Clarence
48,283
Palmerston
65,231
South Canberra
77,093
Peppermint Grove
85,705
Hobart
47,903
Litchfield
61,430
Molonglo
73,026
Port Hedland
81,173
Kingborough
47,412
Darwin
59,747
Woden Valley
64,762
Karratha
78,517
Brighton
45,950
Alice Springs
56,415
Gungahlin
63,897
East Pilbara
76,076
Sorell
44,866
Katherine
53,706
Weston Creek
63,473
a. The Australian Capital Territory does not have local government areas, so information is presented at the Statistical Area 3 level.
   

Income inequality - Gini coefficient

The Gini coefficient is a summary indicator between 0 and 1 that indicates the degree of inequality among total incomes within a region. A value of 0 indicates that all earners reported the same amount of income in that region. Higher values represent relatively higher levels of income inequality. The following Gini coefficients are for areas with more than 1,000 earners living within them and excludes the Australian Capital Territory, which does not have local government areas.

In 2016-17,

the following local government areas had the least income inequality (the lowest Gini coefficients) in Australia:

  • Brighton region in Tasmania
  • Weipa region in Queensland
  • Roxby Downs region in South Australia
     

the following local government areas, all in Western Australia, had the most income inequality (the highest Gini coefficients) in Australia:

  • Peppermint Grove
  • Cottesloe
  • Nedlands
     

Data from the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) provides the best source of information for calculating Gini coefficients and measuring income inequality. As such, estimates from Household Income and Wealth, Australia (cat. not. 6523.0) should be used wherever possible, particularly at the Australia, State and Territory, and Greater Capital City Statistical Area levels. Gini coefficients from Personal Income in Australia should be considered complementary information, which provide insights for lower geographic levels.

Table 4 - Local government areas with the lowest Gini coefficients, 2016-17

LGAState/TerritoryGiniProportion of high earners (top quartile)Income share received by top 10% of earnersMedian incomeMean income
coefficient%%$$
Brighton
Tasmania
0.366
14.8
23.7
45,950
49,012
Weipa
Queensland
0.370
47.8
24.7
77,798
84,734
Roxby Downs
South Australia
0.376
51.8
22.2
84,659
87,325
Playford
South Australia
0.381
13.3
24.8
44,563
47,730
Palmerston
Northern Territory
0.381
34.8
26.4
65,231
73,505
   

Table 5 - Local government areas with the highest Gini coefficients, 2016-17

LGAState/TerritoryGiniProportion of high earners (top quartile)Income share received by top 10% of earnersMedian incomeMean income
coefficient%%$$
Peppermint Grove
Western Australia
0.719
52.2
60.0
85,705
236,678
Cottesloe
Western Australia
0.706
46.3
59.7
73,123
181,139
Nedlands
Western Australia
0.668
44.8
53.3
68,874
147,811
Mosman Park
Western Australia
0.666
40.3
53.8
60,766
128,534
Mosman
New South Wales
0.664
46.4
54.6
73,822
161,608
   

Data downloads

Table 1 - Total income 2011-12 to 2016-17

Table 2a - Total income distribution 2011-12

Table 2b - Total income distribution 2012-13

Table 2c - Total income distribution 2013-14

Table 2d - Total income distribution 2014-15

Table 2e - Total income distribution 2015-16

Table 2f - Total income distribution 2016-17

Table 3 - Employee income 2011-12 to 2016-17

Table 4 - Employee income by age and sex 2011-12 to 2016-17

Table 5 - Investment income 2011-12 to 2016-17

Table 6 - Own unincorporated business income 2011-12 to 2016-17

Table 7 - Superannuation income 2011-12 to 2016-17

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6524.0.55.002.