2076.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2016  
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INCOME

TOTAL PERSONAL WEEKLY INCOME

In the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 18 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported a total personal weekly income of $1000 or more. This is 5 percentage points higher than 2011 (13%), not accounting for inflation.

Almost 1 in 5 (19%) per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over and living in urban areas reported a total personal weekly income of $1,000 or more per week compared to 12 per cent in non-urban areas.

Females were more likely than males to report incomes between $300 and $799. There were significantly more males reporting total weekly incomes of more than $1000 (21% compared to 14%).

Graph Image for Total Personal Weekly Income by Sex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Australia, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



In the Australian Capital Territory, 38 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported a total personal weekly income of $1,000 or more. Western Australian and Victoria were the next highest (20%) followed by New South Wales (19%). The Northern Territory had the lowest proportion earning $1,000 or more each week (11%). In each State or Territory a higher proportion of males than females reported a personal weekly income of $1,000 or more.

Graph Image for Total Personal Weekly Income $1000 or More by Sex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



Age

Median income was highest in the 35 to 44 year age group ($625 per week) followed by the 25 to 34 year age group ($596 per week) and the 45 to 54 year age group ($579 per week). The 15 to 24 year age group (the largest age group), had the lowest median income ($213 per week).

The median age of persons who earned nil income was 17 years and the median age of persons who earned negative income was 22 years.

Graph Image for Median Income Per Week by Age, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Australia, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



Highest Educational Attainment

More than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over with a Bachelor degree or higher reported a total personal weekly income of $1,000 or more (59%). This was similar to non-Indigenous persons with university qualifications who earned $1000 per week or more (57%).

Those with a Certificate III or IV level (30%) qualification were twice as likely as those whose highest educational attainment of Year 12 (15%) to have a weekly income of $1,000 or more.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons with Certificate I and II qualifications or with Year 9 and below school qualifications were more likely to have lower incomes. Certificate I and II qualification holders had a median income of $370 per week and persons with Year 9 or below school qualifications had a median income of $371 per week.

Graph Image for Income Per Week by Educational Attainment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Australia, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



Industry

The Mining industry had the highest proportion (87%) of employees earning $1,000 or more per week. The next highest industries were Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services (68%) and Public Administration and Safety (62%). These three industries also had workers earning the highest median incomes: $1,887, $1,254 and $1,169. In total, there were six industries with persons who had a median income of $1000 or more a week.

There were two industries where workers had a median income of less than $600 a week, Accommodation and Food Services ($440 per week) and Retail Trade ($544 per week). Accommodation and Food Services also had the highest proportion (21%) of persons earning between $1 to$149 per week.

Occupation

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons working in Manager (62%) or Professional (62%) occupations were most likely to earn $1000 or more a week. They, along with workers in Machinery Operators and Drivers occupations were the only three occupation groups with median income higher than $1,000 per week.

Sales workers was the lowest earning occupation group with a median income of $471 per week. Labourers ($663) was the only other occupation group where median income was below $700 per week. Sales workers also had the highest proportion (19%) of persons earning between $1 to $149 per week.

HOUSEHOLD INCOME

The median weekly household income of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in 2016 was $1,203. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest median weekly household income ($1,872), followed by the Northern Territory ($1,224) and Queensland ($1,222).

Graph Image for Median Income Per Week by State, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Households, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016



EQUIVALISED TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME

Almost three-quarters (71%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households reported an equivalised household income of under $1,000 a week in the 2016 Census. The largest proportion of households (12%) were in the $1,000 to $1,249 range.

Almost 8 in 10 (78%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in non-urban areas reported an equivalised total weekly household income under $1000. In comparison, 70 per cent of households in urban areas reported an equivalised total weekly household income under $1,000.

Graph Image for Equivalised Household Weekly Income by Section of State, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Households, Australia, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



What is Equivalised total household income?

Equivalised total household income is household income adjusted by the application of an equivalence scale to facilitate comparison of income levels between households of differing size and composition, reflecting that a larger household would normally need more income than a smaller household to achieve the same standard of living.


States and Territories

The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion (55%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households with an equivalised total weekly household income of $1,000 or more. South Australia and Tasmania were the lowest at 23 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Graph Image for Equivalised Household Weekly Income of $1,000 or More, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Households, Australia, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016