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unbalanced scales

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), in partnership with UNSW Sydney, has released the latest Inequality in Australia report, which highlights the stark disparity between high income earners and those on the lowest incomes. The report also examines the distribution of wealth in Australia and tracks changes in income and wealth inequality over time.

This report revealed that, in terms of income inequality:

  • Someone in the highest 20% of the income scale lives in a household with five times as much income as someone in the lowest 20% of the income scale.
  • Even more extreme, someone in the highest 1% of the income scale lives in a household with an average weekly income that is 26 times the income of someone in the lowest 5% of the income scale.
  • To put it another way – someone in the highest 1% earns more in a fortnight than someone in the lowest 5% earns in an entire year.

In terms of wealth inequality:

  • People in the highest 20% of the wealth scale hold nearly 2/3 of all wealth, while those in the lowest 50% hold only 18% of all all wealth.
  • The average wealth of a household in the wealthiest 20% is five times that of the middle 20% and almost a hundred times that of the lowest 20%.
  • Australia has the 5th highest number in the world of people with ultra high wealth (more than US$50 million).

Read more report findings

pdfDownload report factsheet

pdfDownload report

pdfDownload supplementary report

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