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Australia

Equivalised household income

Assuming all households were the same size, the 'medium lowest' quartile was the largest income group in Australia in 2011.

While Household Income is a useful measure, it is difficult to tell if changes over time and between geographic areas are due to actual changes in income levels, or due to changes in household size and composition. For example, an increase in lower income households could be due to job losses in key economic sectors, or simply due to decreasing household size as adult children leave home.

Equivalised Household Income puts all households on an equal footing independent of household size and composition to enable a true comparison between areas and over time. It is an indicator of the income resource available to a household of standard size and is the best measure of the changing economic fortunes of households living in Australia.

A detailed explanation of how Equivalised Household Income quartiles are calculated and interpreted is available in specific data notes.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the total of all wages/salaries, government benefits, pensions, allowances and other income the person usually receives?'

Family, group and lone person households

Equivalised household income quartiles
Australia - Households (Enumerated)20112006Change
Quartile groupNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Lowest group1,727,17925.022.61,581,04825.022.7+146,132
Medium lowest1,727,18025.023.41,581,04825.023.2+146,132
Medium highest1,727,17925.025.71,581,04825.025.5+146,131
Highest group1,727,18025.028.31,581,04825.028.6+146,132

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Equivalised household income - Quartile group dollar ranges
Calculated from income data for New South Wales Weekly income by Census year
Equivalised household income ranges
2011
2006
2001
Lowest group $0 to $432 $0 to $353 $0 to $282
Medium lowest $433 to $763 $354 to $607 $283 to $482
Medium highest $764 to $1,230 $608 to $982 $483 to $773
Highest group $1,231 and over $983 and over $774 and over

Equivalised household income quartiles, 2011
Equivalised household income quartiles, 2011 Highest group, Greater Capital Cities: 28.3% Medium highest, Greater Capital Cities: 25.7% Medium lowest, Greater Capital Cities: 23.4% Lowest group, Greater Capital Cities: 22.6% Highest group, Australia: 25.0% Medium highest, Australia: 25.0% Medium lowest, Australia: 25.0% Lowest group, Australia: 25.0%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Enumerated data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in equivalised household income quartiles, 2006 to 2011
Change in equivalised household income quartiles, 2006 to 2011 Highest group, Australia: +146,132 Medium highest, Australia: +146,131 Medium lowest, Australia: +146,132 Lowest group, Australia: +146,132
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Enumerated data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Equivalised income quartiles allow us to compare relative income-earning capabilities across time. Because the data is equivalised, households of different size and composition are placed on an equal footing.

Analysis of the distribution of households by income quartile in Australia compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a lesser proportion of households in the highest equivalised income quartile, and a greater proportion in the lowest equivalised income quartile.

Emerging groups

The most significant change in Australia between 2006 and 2011 was in the lowest quartile which showed an increase of 146,132 households.

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