Tuesday, 2 February 2015

Median personal income is an important indicator when measuring the prosperity and economic well-being of a society.
Recently released data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the median total personal income for people lodging tax returns in Australia was \$44,940 (2012-13).

The areas most resembling this income profile were Beacon Hill - Narraweena in Greater Sydney with a median of \$44,934, Berwick - North in Greater Melbourne (\$45,863), West Beach in Greater Adelaide (\$45,017) and Bellerive - Rosny in Greater Hobart (\$44,615). The highest median total income was recorded by the mining centre of Ashburton, Western Australia at \$93,902.

The below map and charts allow evaluation of income by presenting the level and distribution of personal income by region. Questions such as 'What is the median income in my area?' or 'How does my area compare to other parts of Australia?’ can be answered by interpreting the data.

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##### Median personal income by SA2 region
Average IncomeAustralia
Average Median\$44,940
Average Mean\$58,389
Income share of highest earnersAustralia
Top 1% of earners9.3%
Top 5% of earners22.6%
Top 10% of earners33.7%

#### Australia

Less than \$21,400 (Lowest Quartile)
Between \$21,400 and \$44,940 (Second Quartile)
Between \$44,941 and \$74,999 (Third Quartile)
\$75,000 or more (Highest Quartile)

The quartile ranges rank all income earners in ascending order by total income and separate them into four equally sized groups (i.e. with 25% of the total population in each quartile).

#### Median and Mean Averages

The mean is the sum of all the numbers in the set divided by the amount of numbers in the set. The median is the middle point of a number set, in which half the numbers are above the median and half are below. When looking at personal income both average values are interesting as they can vary significantly, especially in areas with very wealthy people as high incomes inflate the mean average.

#### Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)

The areas shown are ‘Statistical Area Level 2’ (SA2) standard areas as used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. SA2 is a general purpose, medium-sized area, which is used to represent communities that interact socially and economically.