The top 1 per cent of Australians has nearly doubled since the early 1980s, rising to 8.3 per cent on the latest count – the highest since the 1950s, is right to say that inequality is at about a 70-year high.
After taking account of the number and age of people in the household, households in the highest-income quintile (20%) in Australia received over 40 per cent of total income in 2013-14. By comparison, households in the lowest quintile received 7.3 per cent of total income. This pattern has remained relatively stable over the past 20 years. While the average household income is now close to $1000 a week, the average for the lowest quintile is just $375, and $2037 for the highest quintile.
When ranked by their level of wealth, the top 20 per cent of Australians owned 62 per cent of total household wealth in 2013-2014. By comparison, the bottom 20 per cent of households owned less than 1 per cent of all household wealth. Housing makes up 60 per cent of all assets owned by Australian households.