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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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National wealth

Real national assets and liabilities(a) per capita(b)
Graph Image for Real national assets and liabilities(a) per capita(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Reference year 2007-08. (b) At 30 June.

Source(s): ABS Australian System of National Accounts, 2008-09 (cat. no. 5204.0); ABS Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0)

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

Changes in Australia's net worth are the net result of changes in both assets and liabilities. Between June 1999 and June 2009, Australia's real assets per capita grew by 1.7% per year, and real per capita liabilities to the rest of the world grew by 6.0% per year. While Australia's liabilities are growing faster than assets, assets remain much greater than liabilities - in June 2009 the value of assets was around five times that of liabilities.

Estimates of assets and liabilities are shown in the national balance sheet which forms part of the Australian System of National Accounts. For an asset to appear in the balance sheet, some person or institution must be able to enforce ownership rights over it; also, it must be possible for the owner of the asset to derive economic benefit from holding or using it. Assets include:

  • Dwellings, other buildings, machinery, inventories, plantation forests and so on ('produced non-financial assets').
  • Land, native forests and minerals that are used for economic purposes ('non-produced non-financial assets').
  • Currency, shares, loans and other securities ('financial assets').
Australia's liabilities to the rest of the world include borrowings from overseas and foreign holdings of Australian currency, shares and other securities.

In principle, all assets and liabilities appear in the balance sheet at market value; in practice, owing to data limitations, a variety of approximations and estimating procedures must be used.

Between June 1999 and June 2009, real produced assets per capita grew by 2.0% per year, while real non-produced assets per capita fell slightly (0.2% a year). Real financial assets per capita with the rest of the world grew by 7.7% per year, while real liabilities per capita to the rest of the world grew by 6.0%.

Real assets and liabilities(a) per capita
30 June 1999
30 June 2009
Average
annual
growth rate
$
$
%

Produced assets
148 971
181 478
2.0
Non-produced assets
166 349
163 719
-0.2
Total non-financial assets
312 398
345 198
1.0
Financial assets with rest of the world
22 054
46 472
7.7

Total assets
330 490
391 669
1.7
Total liabilities to rest of the world
43 369
77 421
6.0

Net worth
287 120
314 248
0.9

(a) Reference year 2007-08. Components may not sum to totals.
Sources: ABS Australian System of National Accounts, 2008-09 (cat. no. 5204.0); ABS Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).

RELATED PAGES

  • National wealth glossary
  • National wealth references
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