Who owns what, household wealth distribution in Australia

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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. Saving Money Home Loan Mortgage A Property Investm

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.

Household wealth

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.

Household income

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About

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. Visit Metropole.com.au


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