Middle Income Households Income Is Getting Squeezed

By Martin North on 6 Sep 2015
No Comments yet, your thoughts are very welcome

Data from the ABS looking at income and wealth, shows that the average income of high income households rose by 7 per cent between 2011-12 and 2013-14, to $2,037 per week, whist low income households have experienced an increase of around 3 per cent in average weekly household income compared with middle income households which have changed little since 2011-12.

The average income of all Australian households has risen to $998 per week in 2013–14, while average wealth remained relatively stable at $809,900. Similarly, change in average wealth was uneven across different types of households. For example, the average wealth of renting households was approximately $183,000 in 2013-14. Rising house prices contributed to an increase in the average wealth for home owners with a mortgage ($857,900) and without a mortgage (almost $1.4 million).

Most Australian households continue to have debts in 2013-14, with over 70 per cent of households servicing some form of debt, such as mortgages, car loans, student loans or credit cards. For example, the average credit card debt for all households was $2,700.

One quarter of households with debt had a total debt of three or more times their annualised disposable income. Mortgage debt was much higher.

These households are considered to be at higher risk of experiencing economic hardship if they were to experience a financial shock, such as a sudden reduction in their income or if interest rates were to rise, increasing their mortgage or loan repayments.

The survey findings also allow comparisons of income and wealth across different types of households.

In 2013–14, couple families with dependent children had an average household income of $1,011 per week, which was similar to the average for all households at $998 per week.

By comparison, after adjusting for household characteristics, one parent families with dependent children had an average household income of $687 per week.


About the Author

Martin North is the founding principal of Digital Finance Analytics (DFA), a data scientist and banking sector analyst who is often quoted in the media. He also writes the DFA Blog, which provides commentary on its research programme and broader industry issues.

Share with friendsX