Median Incomes from the Australian Census


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The results are in for the 2021 Australian census, and I find the figures for Median Weekly Incomes to be interesting.

The figures are released for three groups, and cover everyone in Australia:

  • Personal Income, with a figure of $805 per week, up by 21.6% from $662 in 2016. (This is an average increase of 3.99% per year over the five years.)
  • Family Income, with a figure of $2,120 per week, up by 22.26% from $1,734 in 2016. (This is an average increase of 4.10% per year over the five years.)
  • Household Income, with a figure of $1,746 per week, up by 21.4% from $1,438 in 2016. (This is an average increase of 3.96% per year over the five years.)

These figures are Gross, before tax deductions etc.

The Family and Household Income figures are confusing at first glance.

The median Household Income is shown as $1,746 per week, with $2,120 per week for the family.

This shows that the family members in the house had a higher total income than everyone in the house combined, family and non-family. However, the definitions also state: the income of visitors to a household are excluded from Total household income as stated.


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How can the Median Income, for Family members only, be $1,746 per week, when the Median Household Income for the Family is $2,120.

There must be some logic, but it is not clearly shown.

I did however come across this: The total family income excludes families where one or more family members aged 15 years and over did not state their income or was absent from the dwelling on Census Night.
So, if one family member was absent, for example a non working 16 year old, the entire family income is ignored?

The definitions are shown here:

  • Family Income is the total family income by summing the Total personal income (weekly) (INCP) of each family member aged 15 years and over present in the household on Census Night.
  • Household Income is the sum of Total personal income (weekly) (INCP) of each resident aged 15 years or older who was present in the household on Census Night.

Definition Source: www.abs.gov.au/census

Australian Census Median Incomes

Another point:

In May 2021, the Median weekly earnings were $1,209.00 for all employees, this includes both Full and Part-time. (Full Time workers was $1,835.40 per week.)

But the Census showed only $805 per week for personal income, not the $1,209 that the ABS shows.

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