The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released information about gross (i.e. before tax) household income as revealed through the last Census. The information is based on the count of dwellings and shows the weekly gross income of family and non-family households. The information is derived from a specific question on the Census form that asks about the gross income of each person present in the house in which they were counted.
Quality and Applicability
Household income is calculated by adding the individual income of those within the household. Household income relies on respondents providing details about individual income, with many electing not to do so. Household income distributions are therefore only broadly indicative of earnings per household within a given area.
The amount of income generated by households is related to factors such as the number of working members in any given household and the type of employment undertaken by them. For example, in areas where couples have ‘aged in place’ the household income distribution would reflect high numbers of retirees and people not in the paid labour force. It is therefore best to use household income data together with an area’s age structure (see population estimates or count of persons), labour force participation or occupations and industries to better interpret the meaning of its household income distribution.
Information about household income is available for local government areas, statistical local areas, suburbs, and collector districts.
Collector districts are the smallest spatial units under the Australian Standard Geographical Classification system used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Collector districts enable the collection and dissemination of Census data. Statistical local areas fit into the boundaries of incorporated bodies of local government (i.e. local government areas) when aggregated.
Information about household income refers to 8 August 2006, the most recent Census.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics progressively released all standard data sets based on the 2006 Census during 2007.
Information about household income is contained in the Basic Community Profile Cat. No. 2001.0 2006 Table B28. Select the ‘Community Profiles’ function to search for an area by name then open its Basic Community Profile.
Cost and Format
Australian Bureau of Statistics data sets are downloadable free of charge in excel spreadsheet format.
Additional Data Source(s)
Information about household income is available through profile.id, an online product designed to support local government planning and accessible through council websites. Go to your council website, search for community profiles, and click on ‘Who Are We/What is Our Household Income’ to generate reports based on the last Census. Reports are available for local government areas and smaller areas (e.g. suburbs). More on profile.id.