Personal Income in Australia

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Regional data on the number of income earners, amounts received, and the distribution of income for the 2014-15 to 2018-19 financial years

Reference period
2014-15 to 2018-19

Key statistics

During 2018-19:

  • Total personal income was $951.4 billion
  • Median personal income was $51,389, up 3.2% on 2017-18
  • Employee income was the largest income category at 87.1% of total personal income

Personal Income in Australia is the second in a series of releases containing data from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED). Jobs in Australia, which also contains LEED data, was released on 26 October 2021. Today the Microdata: Jobs in Australia TableBuilder product is also being released.

Sources of personal income

  • Most persons (77.4%) received employee income as their main source of income, down slightly from 77.7% the previous year.
  • Employee income recorded the highest median income ($52,425), which was 3.1% greater than the previous year.
  • Superannuation income recorded the second highest median income ($22,733), which was 4.6% greater than the previous year.
  • Only 1.6% of persons received superannuation income as their main source of income (unchanged from the previous year).

State comparison

  • The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest median total income ($66,594) and Tasmania the lowest ($47,352).
  • Victoria recorded the fastest growth rate since 2014-15 (11.1%) and Western Australia the slowest (2.3%).
  • Of all the states and territories, the top 1% of earners received the greatest share of the state's total personal income in New South Wales (10.8%).

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

Distribution indicators for total personal income

 Median total incomeMedian total income growth rateIncome Share
 2018-19Last yearSince 2014-15Top 1% earnersTop 5% earnersTop 10% earners
New South Wales$51,8183.3%10.5%10.8%24.1%35.1%
South Australia$49,8883.2%9.8%7.8%20.1%30.7%
Western Australia$54,2202.9%2.3%9.5%22.2%33.3%
Northern Territory$61,5171.5%6.0%6.4%17.6%27.8%
Australian Capital Territory$66,5943.5%8.3%6.5%18.3%28.8%

Local government area median total income

In 2018-19, the three local government areas with the highest median total income in Australia were:

  • Peppermint Grove in Western Australia ($101,201)
  • Ashburton in Western Australia ($98,283), and
  • Roxby Downs in South Australia ($95,196) 

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

(a) Excludes local government areas with less than 1,000 earners.

(b) Parts of Australia not administered by incorporated bodies are identified as Unincorporated, for example Unincorporated NT. For further information see Australia Statistical Geography Standard, Edition 3.

(c) The Australian Capital Territory does not have local government areas.

Income inequality

Gini coefficients presented in this release are provided as complementary information. The most comprehensive estimates for calculating Gini coefficients and measuring income inequality are found in Household Income and Wealth, Australia.

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 1,000 or more earners living within them and excludes the Australian Capital Territory, which does not have local government areas.

As mentioned above, data from the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) provides the most comprehensive source of information for calculating Gini coefficients and measuring income inequality. As such, estimates from Household Income and Wealth, Australia 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. For more information about Gini coefficients, please see the Methodology.

In 2018-19, the following local government areas had:

The least income inequality (the lowest Gini coefficients) in Australia:

  • Weipa in Queensland (0.354)
  • Palmerston in Northern Territory (0.360)
  • Brighton in Tasmania (0.365)

The most income inequality (the highest Gini coefficients) in Australia:

  • Coonamble in New South Wales (0.872)
  • Gwydir in New South Wales (0.809)
  • Peppermint Grove in Western Australia (0.753)
Local government areas with the lowest Gini coefficients, 2018-19
LGAState/TerritoryGini coefficientProportion of high earners (top quartile)(a)Income share received by top 10% of earnersMedian incomeMean income
PalmerstonNorthern Territory0.36032.5%24.3%$67,479$72,557
KatherineNorthern Territory0.36529.9%24.0%$63,673$67,640
Roxby DownsSouth Australia0.36755.3%22.4%$95,196$99,194

(a) Proportion of earners in each LGA whose income is in the range of the top quartile, as calculated at the national level.

Local government areas with the highest Gini coefficients, 2018-19(a)
LGAState/TerritoryGini coefficientProportion of high earners (top quartile)(b)Income share received by top 10% of earnersMedian incomeMean income
CoonambleNew South Wales0.87214.4%39.9%$40,111$37,944
GwydirNew South Wales0.80911.4%39.1%$34,191$35,544
CottesloeWestern Australia0.79146.9%71.7%$78,524$282,730
Peppermint GroveWestern Australia0.75355.8%65.2%$101,201$289,823
Mosman ParkWestern Australia0.68539.5%57.1%$63,655$146,068

(a) Gini Coefficient values greater than or equal to 0.9 have been suppressed and will not appear in this table. For further information see the Methodology.
(b) Proportion of earners in each LGA whose income is in the range of the top quartile, as calculated at the national level.

Data downloads

Table 1 - Total income 2014-15 to 2018-19

Table 2 - Total income distribution 2018-19

Table 3 - Employee income 2014-15 to 2018-19

Table 4 - Employee income by age and sex 2014-15 to 2018-19

Table 5 - Investment income 2014-15 to 2018-19

Table 6 - Own unincorporated business income 2014-15 to 2018-19

Table 7 - Superannuation income 2014-15 to 2018-19

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6524.0.55.002.

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