Research Papers

Understanding Inequality In Australia

Written by and
27 November 2017

The best available evidence demonstrates that income inequality is low and declining in Australia. Suggestions to the contrary rely on highly unreliable and potentially misleading measures, such as the income share earned by the top 1% of income earners.

Further, Australia has the third most equal distribution of net wealth in the developed world, the second lowest proportion of adults with net wealth below $10,000USD, and the second highest proportion of adults with wealth above $1,000,000USD. Together, these factors suggest Australia is a very wealthy country, with that wealth widely shared.

Australia, as whole, is also a very prosperous nation, with all income quintiles experiencing solid growth to their incomes over the past two decades. Access to basic material goods is close to
universal. Absolute poverty has been virtually eradicated, while relative poverty is low and has been declining in recent years.

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs

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