Personal Income in Australia

Latest release

Regional data on the number of income earners, amounts received, and the distribution of income for the 2015-16 to 2019-20 financial years

Reference period
2015-16 to 2019-20

Key statistics

During 2019-20:

  • Total personal income was $983.0 billion
  • Median personal income was $52,338, up 1.8% on 2018-19
  • Employee income was the largest income category at 88% of total personal income

Personal Income in Australia is one of two releases containing data from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED). Jobs in Australia, which also contains LEED data, was also released today. The Microdata: Jobs and Income of Employed Persons, 2011-12 to 2019-20 TableBuilder product (previously called Microdata: Jobs in Australia) is intended for release later this year and contains more detailed data from the LEED.

Differences between Jobs in Australia and Personal Income in Australia

Jobs in Australia (JIA) and Personal Income in Australia (PIiA) present similar data on earners and income which comes from the LEED. However, there are a few small but important differences between JIA and PIiA that should be taken into consideration if comparing the two sets of statistics. 

The number of earners will be different between the two publications. In PIiA, anyone who earns income, whether from employment, superannuation, investment etc. is counted as an earner. This also includes individuals who only receive an employment termination payment without any regular income. In JIA, earners are restricted to those who receive payment from employment, which is either working as an employee or an owner-manager of unincorporated enterprise. JIA does not include individuals who only receive an employment termination payment. 

The median incomes reported in JIA are reported on a 'per job' and 'employed person' basis. However, individuals may work more than one job, either at the same time or throughout the financial year. For PIiA, the income is reported on a 'per person' basis which includes all income types, not only employment income, received in that financial year.  

Migrant's jobs and income

Data on migrants living and working in Australia are currently being linked with the LEED for the 2019-20 financial year. Additional content and an additional Data Download will be added to this release later this year. 

Guide to labour statistics

To learn more about our different labour measures, their purpose and how to use them, see our Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Earnings (similar to income) data.

Sources of personal income

  • Most persons (77.5%) received employee income as their main source of income, up slightly from 77.4% in the previous year.
  • Employee income recorded the highest median income ($54,161), which was 3.3% greater than the previous year.
  • Superannuation income recorded the second highest median income ($22,828), which was 0.4% 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 and territory

  • The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest median total income ($68,325) and Tasmania the lowest ($47,909).
  • Victoria recorded the fastest growth rate since 2015-16 (10.7%) and Northern Territory the slowest (4.3%).
  • 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
 2019-20Last yearSince 2015-16Top 1% earnersTop 5% earnersTop 10% earners
Australia$52,3381.8%9.7%9.5%22.3%33.3%
New South Wales$52,8492.0%9.9%10.8%24.0%35.1%
Victoria$51,9961.9%10.7%9.3%22.1%33.1%
Queensland$51,1971.8%9.2%8.2%20.6%31.6%
South Australia$50,4401.1%9.4%7.9%20.2%30.9%
Western Australia$55,2081.8%5.2%9.9%22.5%33.5%
Tasmania$47,9091.2%9.3%7.5%19.4%29.9%
Northern Territory$62,0100.8%4.3%6.5%17.4%27.7%
Australian Capital Territory$68,3252.6%8.3%6.8%18.5%29.0%

Local government area median total income

In 2019-20, the three local government areas with the highest median total income in Australia were:

  • Ashburton in Western Australia ($99,367)
  • Roxby Downs in South Australia ($98,955)
  • Peppermint Grove in Western Australia ($96,244)

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

  1. Excludes local government areas with less than 1,000 earners.
  2. 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, usually 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 income data reported in this release is market income and therefore can be negative. This is mainly due to losses for Owner Managers of Unincorporated Enterprises (OMUEs). For areas with large numbers of OMUEs reporting negative incomes, the Gini coefficients can exceed 1. 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 2019-20, the following local government areas had:

The lowest income inequality (the lowest Gini coefficients) in their respective State/Territory:

  • Roxby Downs in South Australia (0.351)
  • Weipa in Queensland (0.354)
  • Palmerston in Northern Territory (0.358)

The highest income inequality (the highest Gini coefficients) in their respective State/Territory:

  • Walgett in New South Wales (1.877)
  • Balonne in Queensland (0.880)
  • Cottesloe in Western Australia (0.861)
Local government areas with the lowest Gini coefficients for each State and Territory, 2019-20
LGAState/TerritoryGini coefficientProportion of high earners (top quartile)(a)Income share received by top 10% of earnersMedian incomeMean income
CampbelltownNew South Wales0.39120.1%25.4%$53,462$58,714
MeltonVictoria0.39621.9%25.8%$53,913$60,429
WeipaQueensland0.35451.3%23.2%$88,989$93,610
Roxby DownsSouth Australia0.35156.4%21.7%$98,955$102,422
Port HedlandWestern Australia0.37751.0%23.2%$89,365$96,910
BrightonTasmania0.36515.1%23.7%$50,986$53,934
PalmerstonNorthern Territory0.35831.1%23.8%$67,256$72,023
Unincorporated ACT(b)Australian Capital Territory0.42435.5%29.0%$68,325$79,645
  1. Proportion of earners in each LGA whose income is in the range of the top quartile, as calculated at the national level.
  2. The Australian Capital Territory does not have Local Government Areas. 
Local government areas with the highest Gini coefficients for each State and Territory, 2019-20(a)
LGAState/TerritoryGini coefficientProportion of high earners (top quartile)(b)Income share received by top 10% of earnersMedian incomeMean income
WalgettNew South Wales1.87713.5%59.9%$36,855$23,192
BoroondaraVictoria0.58936.2%43.8%$60,701$100,845
BalonneQueensland0.88016.2%40.0%$42,302$40,543
CleveSouth Australia0.72313.6%35.1%$36,874$38,798
CottesloeWestern Australia0.86145.3%81.1%$76,983$369,687
Central HighlandsTasmania0.54714.8%35.0%$42,329$50,921
Roper GulfNorthern Territory0.49914.8%31.9%$33,955$46,039
Unincorporated ACT(c)Australian Capital Territory0.42435.5%29.0%$68,325$79,645
  1. Gini Coefficient can exceed 1 as some individuals report negative incomes. For further information see the Methodology.
  2. Proportion of earners in each LGA whose income is in the range of the top quartile, as calculated at the national level.
  3. The Australian Capital Territory does not have Local Government Areas. 

Changes in this release

Following user feedback, an extra data download table has been added containing summary information for the entire time series (2011-12 to 2019-20). More detailed data for earlier years can be found in previous issues of this release.

Data downloads

Table 1 - Total income, earners and summary statistics by geography, 2015-16 to 2019-20

Table 2 - Total income distribution by geography, 2019-20

Table 3 - Employee income, earners and summary statistics by geography, 2015-16 to 2019-20

Table 4 - Employee income, earners and summary statistics by age group, sex and geography, 2015-16 to 2019-20

Table 5 - Investment income, earners and summary statistics by geography, 2015-16 to 2019-20

Table 6 - Own unincorporated business income, earners and summary statistics by geography, 2015-16 to 2019-20

Table 7 - Superannuation income, earners and summary statistics by geography, 2015-16 to 2019-20

Table 8 - Summary statistics by Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, 2011-12 to 2019-20

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6524.0.55.002.

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