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Gross Disposable Australian Household Income rises by 58% from 2004 to 2012

The average gross disposable income of Australian households grew 58 per cent in the eight year period between 2003-04 to 2011-12, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The following shows that prime growth area was in the 35-44 age group where the prime earner paid about $26,000 tax in the 2011-12 financial year.

“Our figures show that between 2003-04 and 2011-12, household incomes grew across all income quintiles ,” said Amanda Seneviratne from the ABS.

“The highest income quintile grew at a rate above average, at 62 per cent.

“All other income quintiles grew above 50 per cent , but below the average rate of 58 per cent.

“Growth in wages and salaries was by far the largest contributor to this increase, except for the lowest income quintile, where social assistance benefits were the largest contributor to their income growth.

“But what’s really important about today’s release is that it is the first time that we have released time series data for household groups under the framework of the national accounts.

“This means we now have an indication of which household groups are driving the growth in income, consumption, savings and wealth in the national accounts.

“For example, we can see that households with two adults and dependent children were responsible for about one-third of the growth in household gross disposable income, or that households where the reference person was aged 35 to 44 years had an increase in income tax of $9,000 – with their payments going from $17, 000 in 2003-04 to $26,000 in 2011-12 – which was above the average increase of $4,500,” said Ms Seneviratne.

The time series data in this release can also help answer questions such as the saving behaviour of household groups before, during and after the global financial crisis, as well as which household groups are investing in superannuation and which groups are benefiting from superannuation.

Further information is available in Australian National Accounts: Distribution of Household Income, Consumption and Wealth (cat. no. 5204.0.55.011), available for free download from

5204.0.55.011 – Australian National Accounts: Distribution of Household Income, Consumption and Wealth, 2003-04 to 2011-12 Released October 2014

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