Back to overview

Income distribution of people in households by main income source

Income inequalityInequalityWho is affected?

This graph shows where people are placed in the household income rankings, according to their household’s main source of income in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
Social security payments include pensions, allowances and family payments.

2017-18: The graph shows that the highest 20% income group receives two-thirds of all investment income and a substantial share of own-business income and wages (48% and 44% respectively). At the other end of the scale, the lowest 20% receives over a third of all social security income (38%).

2015-16: The graph shows that 65% of people in households that mainly rely on social security payments are concentrated in the lowest 20% income group. In contrast, people in households relying mainly on wages or salaries are more likely to be found at the higher end of the distribution (with 51% in the highest 40% income group). Households whose main income is from an unincorporated business are more likely (27%) to belong to the lowest 20% income group. It should be noted however that incomes from self-employment are more likely than other forms of income to be under-reported or uncertain due to the difficulty in distinguishing between personal and business income for this group. For more information, see ABS (2017): Household Income and Wealth, Australia, Explanatory notes

Privacy Preference Center