The richest 10 per cent of households owns almost half Australia’s private wealth.
This is followed by a “comfortable middle" of 30 per cent who own 38 per cent of our wealth, leaving the lowest 60 per cent of Aussies, who tend to be younger, with 16 per cent of household wealth.
These were the conclusions of research at the end of last year by UNSW comparing the upper, middle and lower rungs of the nation’s wealth and income ladder.
They used data for the financial year 2017-18 and I would suspect that the gap between the rich and the poor has only wide and since Covid, as in general those most affected by the coronavirus crisis were in the lower income brackets.
- The average net worth of the richest ten per cent reached $4.75 million in 2017-18. As always this underpinned by substantial property assets as well as stocks and business investments. That group owns 46 per cent of household wealth.
- The comfortable middle had average household net worth of just under $1.3 million. About half of that group’s wealth is tied up in their own home but they also owned investment properties (with a net value of $104,000 on average) and had superannuation.
- The bottom 60 per cent of Australian households had average wealth of $277,000, with owner-occupied housing and superannuation being their biggest assets.
What about income?
The report found that our incomes are more equally distributed than wealth.
- The best-paid 20 per cent of households had an average pre-tax income of just under $300,000 a year,
- The middle 20 per cent $116,000, and...
- The bottom 20 per cent $41,000.
A typical household in the middle 20 per cent of Australia’s income distribution was a couple with dependent children where a male partner worked full-time on an average wage of about $85,000 per year and the female partner worked part-time with an average wage of about $30,000 per year.
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