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By Michael Yardney

Here’s how your income compared to everyone else (in 7 charts)?

Have you ever wondered how your income compares to other Australians?

Well, each year the ATO publishes a breakdown of the taxable income distribution of Australian workers.

So let's have a look at how you compare...

What is the ‘median’ income in Australia?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median Australian employee earned $65,000 in 2022.

This figure captures both full-time workers and part-time workers.

In other words, half of all Aussie workers earned more than this and, of course, the other half earned less.

Median Income

While incomes have increased steadily over the past few decades, clearly they're not keeping up with inflation today.

In 1975, the median employee earned $6448 per year.

In the 47 years since then, wages have grown by about 5 per cent annually, taking median employee income to where it is today.

What about the wealthiest Australians?

ATO stats for 2019-20, the most recent year for which data is available, the median taxpayer – that is, the person at the 50th percentile – reported a taxable income between $60,326 and $61,264.

  • If your taxable income was $131,501 or higher, then you earned more than 90% of other Australians.
  • If your taxable income was more than $253,066, then you took home more than 99% of Aussie taxpayers.

Top Incomes

What about wealth?

While analysing incomes is interesting, what about wealth?

The ABS provides these stats and we already know that most Australians' household wealth is made of residential real estate (predominantly their homes).

Then there are shares and superannuation to take into account and net wealth has risen, despite Aussies taking on more debt.

The data show the median household had a net worth of $579,200 in 2019-20.

How Wealthy Are Ausstralians

Here's where Australia's wealthiest people live

Australia's wealthiest people tend to live in our capital cities, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria.

Sydney is home to many of the country's wealthiest individuals and families, including several business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Melbourne also has a significant number of wealthy residents.

Other cities where Australia's wealthiest people are concentrated include Perth and Brisbane.

These cities have strong economies and high demand for luxury goods and services, which attracts wealthy individuals.

Wealthiest Postcode

The top 10 occupations of Australia's wealthy

There are several high-paying jobs in Australia across various industries.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, some of the highest-paying occupations are various types of medical practitioners.

Looking at the chart below it's clear the highest-paying jobs require advanced education and experience and are often concentrated in urban areas with high demand for skilled workers.

Top 10 Occupations

How do we compare internationally?

Australia is considered to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with a high standard of living and a strong economy.

Additionally, we enjoy a relatively low poverty rate and a high level of income equality compared to other developed countries.

While Australian household incomes are the seventh-highest in the OECD mean household net worth is third-highest.

International Wealth Comparisons

What about gender?

Gender inequality in wages remains a significant issue in Australia.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the national gender pay gap in Australia currently sits at 14.1%, with women earning on average $251.20 less per week than men.

Then just look at the extent to which men dominate higher-paying jobs.

  • Of the 10 per cent of taxpayers who earned more than $131,501 in 2019-20, about 70 per cent were men.
  • Meanwhile, women comprised almost 60 per cent of the 20 per cent lowest income earners.

Gender And Incomes

Source of charts and commentary: ATO, ABS and Australian Financial Review

This article was first published in July this year but has been published for the benefit of our many new readers

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.

When you refer to taxable income, does this mean before or after tax deductible items are considered? In other words, is this Taxable Income on FY payslip, or is the amount in the data inclusive of annual tax deductible items having already reduced t ...Read full version

1 reply

I think the article loses a lot of credibility when it trots out the lame gender argument. I can subscribe to no end of left wing rags to get fed that rubbish

2 replies

I would like to see more detail and analysis of the occupations in the middle range. Everyone knows sales assistant is at the bottom, and surgeon is at the top. Is there a large spread between say builder and sales manager? Forklift driver and roo ...Read full version

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