The rich keep getting richer in Australia

The ABS released its household incomes and wealth figures for the 2016 financial year. money

I’m going to keep this post very simple today – you could spend hours torturing these numbers to fit a preconceived viewpoint, and, alas, I’ve got better things to do.

Instead, just three observations.

1. Firstly, mean gross household incomes, after surging very hard through the mining boom, pulled back a bit last year.

This has become a bit of a familiar theme in recent Aussie data.

Income 1

2. Income inequality generally trended a little higher through the mining boom too, but also fell last financial year, as higher income earners took a hit.

Income 2

3. And thirdly, mean household net worth, having been obliterated by the share market crash, has surged to a record high of just over $929,000.

If people are feeling that inequality is rising, it is – for wealth – if only marginally since 2009-10.

Household net worth increased by $94,000 since the 2014 financial year, with property and financial assets up by $78,000 and $45,000 respectively, and liabilities up by just $19,000.

Income 3

On average Aussies have assets totalling about $1,097,000, and liabilities of $168,000.

The increase in mean household net worth has not all been about property assets, but real estate has played an important role.

Mean property assets were $627,000 per household, and mortgages just a shade under $150,000.

Anyway, you could literally spend days hammering out findings from these figures, but I think that’ll do as an overview for today.


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Pete Wargent


Pete is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. Using a long term approach to building businesses, investing in equities, & owning a portfolio he achieved financial independence at the age of 33. Visit his blog

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