Australia’s top 1% continues to take home the same share of the pie

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The income for the top 1% of Australian earners has not increased for nearly a decade, according to tax data analysed by the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne.

In 2011-12 the income for the nation’s top 1% of earners was 7.7% of total income, staying relatively stable from 2006 levels where it was 7.8%.

Based on taxation data, the analysis shows that the 180,000 Australians in the top 1% earned an average income of just under $400,000 per year. To be a member of this elite group, an individual required an income of at least $211,000.

“From the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s, there was a clear upward trend in the income share of the top 1%,” said Associate Professor Roger Wilkins, who produced these estimates.

“The available evidence shows that since 2006 there has been an end to this upward trend, or at the very least a significant pause in the growth.”

The analysis also shows that:

  • The 18,000 Australians in the top 0.1% of income earners each earned more than $600,000 in 2011-12, and had an average income of over $1,100,000.
  • The 90,000 Australians in the top 0.5% of income earners each earned more than $290,000 in 2011-12, and accounted for just over 5% of total income that year.
  • The 900,000 people in the top 5% of income earners each earned above $115,000 and accounted for just over 19% of total income in Australia in 2011-12.
  • The 1.8 million people in the top 10% of income earners each earned above $88,000, and accounted for nearly 29% of total income in 2011-12.

 

The statistics were produced for the World Top Incomes Database, housed at the Paris School of Economics.

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