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Trends in average weekly after tax income

Income inequalityInequalityTrends

This shows how average household incomes grew in ‘real terms’ (after inflation) for the lowest, middle and highest 20% income groups in Australia, as well as the highest 5%. It shows that income growth was very uneven during the boom from 2000 to 2008. The average income of the lowest 20% grew by 5.6% per year in real terms, compared with 5.9% for the middle 20%, 7.2% for the highest 20%, and 10.3% for the highest 5%.

After the GFC, from 2008 to 2016, household incomes grew much more slowly and less unequally. The average household incomes of the lowest 20% grew by 2.5% per year (aided by a large pension increase in 2009), compared with 0.3% for the middle 20%, 0.8% for the highest 20%, and a decline of 0.6% for the highest 5% (likely due to falls in returns from investments.

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