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Mortgages, Kids and Ginis

A survey of Households released by the ABS this week shows 69% of couples-only households where the reference person is aged 55 to 64, own their home free of mortgage. In this household category 27.7% have government benefits as primary source of income and, on average, 50% of people are employed.

Looking at children composition of households, the averages for couple families were 1.4 children in under-5 families, 2.2 children in both 5 to 14 aged families and 15 to 24 aged families and 1.7 children in one-parent households.

On net-worth distribution, the wealthiest 20% of households had average net worth of $1.4 million and accounted for 59% of total household net worth. The poorest 20% averaged $23,000 and accounted for 1% of net worth. The survey also calculated the ‘gini’ coefficient (see FinDem Glossary in Resources http://www.findem.com.au/resources/resourcesarchiveg.php), which measures how unevenly wealth is distributed (0 means we are all equal, 1 theoretically means one person holds all wealth and an infinite residual population has nothing –e.g. Rupert Murdoch’s extended family is currently heading towards 1.0). According to the ABS survey, Australia’s population had an income ‘gini’ coefficient of 0.315 in 2003-04 compared to 0.304 ten years earlier. In other words, according to these figures, Australia has become more equal in income that 10 years ago. We have added a Miscellaneous Chart of Global ginis (100 based index rather than 1 based coefficient), as calculated by the World Bank, in Research Centre http://www.findem.com.au/research/.

Posted Saturday, 6 August 2005

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