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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 net worth(a) per capita(b)
Graph Image for Real national net worth(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)

Share of total household net worth by income quintile(a)(b)
Graph Image for Share of total household net worth by income quintile(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) As at 30 June. (b) Q1 is the lowest income quintile and Q5 is the highest income quintile.

Source(s): ABS Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, 2005-06 (cat. no. 6554.0)

NET WORTH

The growth in a nation's wealth is the outcome of a wide variety of influences. Broadly, changes in real wealth reflect both accumulations of past saving or dissaving and changes in the relative prices of assets and liabilities.

In June 2009, Australia's real national net worth was $6,899b, and real national net worth per capita was $314,200 (in 2007-08 prices). Between June 1999 and June 2009, Australia's real national net worth per capita rose by an average annual rate of 0.9%.

Growth slowed in recent years, affected by the global financial crisis. Australia's real national net worth per capita grew by an average of 0.4% per year in the three years to June 2009, around a third of the average growth rate for the rest of the decade.

Across broad sectors of the economy, the household sector had the highest net worth per capita in current-price terms with $232,300 in June 2009, up an average 6.4% per year from June 1999 ($124,400). Household sector net worth per capita accounted for about 74% of total net worth per capita in June 2009, down from 81% in June 1999. The remainder was mostly accounted for by general government (21% in June 2009) and non-financial corporations (10%). The contribution of financial corporations to national net worth has been negative since June 1998.

The economic cycle has a significant impact on the investment activity of a nation, which in turn can affect its population's ability to accumulate wealth. The Australian economy's strong growth following the recession in the early part of the 1990s underpinned the increase in investment (gross fixed capital formation) in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Changes in technology, especially in information technology, have also influenced the increase in investment activity. For example, the computerisation of many manufacturing systems and processes may have driven increases in investment in machinery and equipment hence contributing to the wealth of the nation.

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