For some reason, we all want to know how much everyone else is making. Maybe we’re competitive or maybe just curious, but regardless, we want to know the average income of people like us. Not many people have any idea what the typical average Australian income is, or even what average relates to in this context. Here are some ways to look at typical or average incomes throughout Australia.

Average Income of $78,823

As of May 2016, the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) showed the average full-time ordinary weekly earnings for adults was $1,516. The data used to come to this figure?

  • Average is representative of a typical number within a data set that is calculated by totaling all values and dividing by the number of said values.
  • Full-time is a figure that only relates to those who work full-time, excluding part-time, casual workers.
  • Adult is the factor used to include those who are adults and not those who aren’t.
  • Ordinary time is standard earnings for anything except overtime and other sources.

If you change any of these factors, the average income changes. For instance, if you expand the earnings to include overtime, the average would change to $81,321. If you include part-time workers, it decreases to $60,330. You can also split between men and women and those numbers will differ. The differences are staggering depending on what data you collect and use.

Median Income of $70,720

Average income stats can have issues like small numbers of people with very high incomes that skew the overall results. Using median, which is basically the midpoint of a data set, removes the bias of high-income earners and provides a more typical indication of the Australian income. Keep in mind that median income stats are figured based on full-time adult workers, so if you include all workers, the median income would come to $52,052. This table shows the ABS data from May 2014.

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Percentile Full-Time Employees Paid at Adult Rate All Employees
10th $43,576 $13,468
20th $50,128 $25,116
30th $56,368 $36,036
40th $63,128 $44,564
50th $70,720 $52,052
60th $79,872 $61,048
70th $90,740 $72,592
80th $106,444 $87,724
90th $133,692 $113,256

Household Income

Thus far, we have addressed incomes for individuals. Another factor used is household income. Individual income stats don’t offer a clear picture of how our incomes compare to the rest of Australian residents. Some households have two-incomes or more. For instance, the standard of living for those earning $150,000 annually differs for those who live alone and those who support a spouse and children at that income level.

If we look at gross household income, not adjusted according to household size, the median gross income reported by the ABS between 2013 and 2014 was $80,496. This number drastically changes when you consider household size. This table, as per a HILDA (Household Income and Labour in Australia) survey, demonstrates household income numbers as of September, 2014.

What you’re seeing in this table is the percentile at each household income level for various household circumstances.

Household Annual Income Single Adult Two Adults, no Children One Adult, One Child Two Adults, One Child Two Adults, Two Children
$30,000 19% 6% 11% 3% 2%
$40,000 33% 15% 20% 9% 5%
$50,000 45% 24% 31% 16% 11%
$60,000 56% 33% 40% 24% 17%
$70,000 66% 41% 50% 31% 24%
$80,000 73% 49% 58% 38% 30%
$90,000 80% 56% 65% 45% 36%
$100,000 84% 63% 71% 52% 42%
$120,000 90% 73% 81% 63% 54%
$150,000 95% 84% 89% 76% 67%
$170,000 96% 89% 92% 82% 74%
$200,000 97% 93% 95% 88% 82%
$250,000 98% 96% 97% 94% 90%
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*Household income in this example is defined using elements such as wages, benefits, allowances, pensions, dividends, interest, superannuation, and business income before taxes, or gross income.

Looking at the household income table, you can see how an income of $120,000 is very good if you’re single, but only average if you have a spouse and two children that rely on your income.


This article has been supplied by The Pay CalculatorThis information is not intended as advice and does not take into account your personal circumstances. Always seek professional financial advice.


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Stefan Campbell
The Small Business Blog was started in 2009. Aiming to start, help, and grow small and medium sized businesses.