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Australia

Household income quartiles

In Australia, the 'lowest' quartile was the largest group in 2011, comprising 25% of households with income.

Households form the common 'economic unit' in our society. Household Income is one of the most important indicators of socio-economic status. With other data sources, such as Qualifications and Occupation, it helps to reveal Australia's socio-economic status and economic opportunities. Household income levels are not comparable over time because of the influences of economic change such as wage level fluctuations and inflation. The income quartile method is a powerful and objective way of looking at income data and in particular, how it is changing.

A detailed explanation of how 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?'

Households

Household income quartiles
Australia - Households (Enumerated)20112006Change
Quartile groupNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Lowest group1,760,92825.022.31,611,67025.022.5+149,258
Medium lowest1,760,92825.023.41,611,67125.023.8+149,258
Medium highest1,760,92825.025.61,611,67125.025.1+149,257
Highest group1,760,92825.028.61,611,67125.028.6+149,257

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

Household income - Quartile group dollar ranges
Calculated from income data for New South Wales Weekly income by Census year
Household income ranges
2011
2006
2001
1996
1991
Lowest group $0 to $625 $0 to $539 $0 to $413 $0 to $336 $0 to $300
Medium lowest $626 to $1,229 $540 to $1,025 $414 to $784 $337 to $633 $301 to $557
Medium highest $1,230 to $2,208 $1,026 to $1,700 $785 to $1,350 $634 to $1,074 $558 to $923
Highest group $2,209 and over $1,701 and over $1,351 and over $1,075 and over $924 and over

Household income quartiles, 2011
Household income quartiles, 2011 Highest group, Greater Capital Cities: 28.6% Medium highest, Greater Capital Cities: 25.6% Medium lowest, Greater Capital Cities: 23.4% Lowest group, Greater Capital Cities: 22.3% 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 household income quartile, 2006 to 2011
Change in household income quartile, 2006 to 2011 Highest group, Australia: +149,257 Medium highest, Australia: +149,257 Medium lowest, Australia: +149,258 Lowest group, Australia: +149,258
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

Income quartiles allow us to compare relative income-earning capabilities across time. Analysis of the distribution of households by income quartile in Australia compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was lesser proportion of households in the highest income quartile and a greater proportion in the lowest income quartile.

Emerging groups

The most significant change in Australia between 2006 and 2011 was in the lowest quartile which showed an increase of 149,258 households.

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