Australia’s Generations by Wealth and Income

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

This infographic is based on analysis of the ABS Household Income and Wealth data released in late 2015 and 2013. It gives a picture of how both income and wealth is distributed across the generations of households in Australia and how it has been changing.

Generation Y: High incomes, low wealth

While Generation Y aged 25 to 34 are income rich, earning in gross household terms $113,152 per annum, their net worth is modest, at $268,800. As they enter their mid-30’s, they are getting closer to their key earnings years however such has been the low wages growth over the last two years, their household incomes have only increased by $5,356, or 5% since 2013. While Gen Y households on average earn more per annum than the older Boomers aged 55-64 who are rapidly easing out of their full-time working roles, these Boomers managed income increases almost three times that of the younger generation over this period ($14,040). This 14% increase in annual household incomes came about because the older Boomers were reliant not on wages growth but investment income which has seen solid increases over the last two years.

Generation Stagnation

It is ironic, and unfortunate that the emerging generation of wealth accumulators, moving up the career ladder have seen far smaller income increases (amounts just keeping up with inflation) than the generations that are easing out of employment or having ceased employment. Indeed, the generation aged 65+ managed much higher income increases (16%) than the younger working age Gen Y’s.

Wealth compared across the generations

The generational financial inequities are even more pronounced when analysing net wealth by generational cohort. While Gen Y have a household net worth of $268,800, it is less than half that of the Gen Xers who are just a decade older. The highest net worth generation in Australia are the Boomers aged 55-64 who not only have a net wealth almost 5 times that of the generation of their children (Gen Y) but they still have a decade or more of earnings and wealth accumulating ahead of them.

The $1 million households

While Gen Y have seen a wealth increase of 9% since 2012 ($21,647), the mid 50’s Boomers have seen a 14% wealth increase ($153,335) with their wealth rising since 2012 from $1,086,365 to $1,239,700. Therefore, not only does the average Australian household aged over 55 have a net worth exceeding $1 million, but, due largely to rising property prices over the last few years, it is also seeing the fastest wealth increases. When the demographic size of each generation is compared against their corresponding economic share, the differences are stark. Australians aged 25 to 34 are equal in size to the Over 65’s at 3.6 million, or 15% of the total population of 24 million. However, the net wealth of Generation Y is well below this population share at just 7% of the national private wealth compared to the Builders generation who have a share of 26%, almost twice their demographic proportion.

The quarter who own more than half

In total the Baby Boomers (45 to 64) are a quarter of the population (25%) but own more than half of Australia’s national wealth (53%). Their economic footprint is twice as large as their demographic footprint. While the Gen Y’s have decades of wealth accumulating ahead of them which will grow their net worth footprint, it is unlikely that Australia will ever see the likes of today’s Boomers again where a quarter own more than half. The Boomers have been the beneficiaries of a near 50-year economic miracle, and they are unlikely to ease out of this accumulating any time soon.

The $3 trillion wealth transfer

But there is some hope for the emerging generations who have stagnated in wealth and have been priced out of property. The households of Australians aged 55+ currently own a combined $2.8 trillion and over the next two decades will pass on much of this. By the time they move from the growing to the spending side of this accumulation, it will have exceeded the $3 trillion level. Therefore, the decades ahead will see the biggest intergenerational wealth transfer in Australia’s history and many of the younger generations will be the main beneficiaries.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


rising house prices area earn motivate engage global financial crisis community property Word Up millionth Births census 2014 water live the dream manly logan social enquiry ABS father's day impact culturally diverse car wedding Australia Day 2017 ipswich social analyst commuting happy holidays high density apartments parenting Cobbitty-Leppington business index real Mark McCrindle social trends social issues cancelling event winter 2016 urban taskforce speakers wealth inequality increasing densification publication Caregiver eliane socialites urban living index Wagga Wagga social commentator repayments Elderslie-Harrington park plans identity in depth interviews cooking analysis Black Friday in Australia schools students survey design faux-cilise career spend World Water Day average aussie online shopping careers mccrindle tea HSC low density McCrindle Keynote Speakers emerging technologies System's Architect ageing population emerging generations storytelling long weekend casual mythbusters training gig narcissism living cultural diversity gig economy relational authenticity Gen Z Expert winter blues retirement dreams village IT Specialists Real Estate Institute of Victoria school students brands wealth demographic trends trends analyst resilience debt jobs of the future equip Mark McCrindle in the media Sydney Lifestyle Study cold population growth budget the lucky country workforce education sector the average aussie purpose sydney market research pack trends of 2016 Jura Coffee housing affordability wolloomooloo Christmas season socialising social change bondi food bank gen alpha 24 million hopes land of the middle class buildings McCrindle Speakers global sydneysider communication christian Christmas presents Australian Population travelling Retail deloitte entrepreneur office visualisation Research Director social researchers thought leadership #censusfail 2016 census SRE celebration moreton bay marrickville child care supply and demand transport global generations belief Sydney Hills Business Chamber year 12 residents communications mortgage woolworths new office financial future train jobs click national private wealth finance fresh high density living census data bureau wealth distribution average sydneysider report mobile public transport teachers growth of sydney financial independence Australian Families EFF vegemite ACF2017 weekly earnings Merry Christmas commute micro not-for-profit new york times Assistant Store Manager screenagers global retail "know the times" speaker JOMO easter 2012 australian communities trends report GPO speajer organisations mateship volunteering group session rise of local women Australian schools meetings world work from home dreaming facts future of work summer NSW resource Hornsby Shire Council trend tuesday growing population research Duchess of Cambridge unaffordable New South Wales DESTEL education research suburb Christchurch crows nest Christmas lunch Royals capital city 24,000,000 urban travel Valentine’s Day marriages conferences children economic Sydney’s south west infographic wall apartments researcher royal baby work-life Sydney innovation Sydney keynote speaker acf15 forum marketing couple food networking shopping case study grandparents baby name predictions mccrinlde pharmacies demographic transformations presentation collaborative learner urban living sunburnt country suburbs TED talk WA not for profit fears Love conference presentation Black Friday business workplace culture millenials Social Trend Bathburst university the hills shire Wellington generation alpha safe media release staying in showreel census 2016 national wealth local employment tattoos futurist pharmacy Australian community trends healthy future generational trends cancelling plans charity in the media criminal results pyrmont business performance school NEETs Performance Sentiment Index CPI speakers pack city Northern Beaches Christian School faux-ciliser research data university degree cloudy days australians staying home more proactive volunteering data investor cica conference speaker social commentary Willowdale Gen Y school satisfaction award relevant tv study sydney speaker national crime rates ACF 2016 What is food insecurity? Australian Dream baby boomers trades newspaper Netflix entrepreneurs of today education future report 1968 work sydney hills apartment January 26th youth unemployment Melbourne tertiary education visual generation Z event gender families 2013 crime FPA leadership megatrends property market ideas investing qualitative research church australian real estate christmas trees world youth day baby interactive stats group social shifts demographer media activity religion infographics thrive Crime Rates wellbeing friends economy rich cost of living The ABC of XYZ giving contiki monarchy future proofing video 1975 Adelaide future of shopping 10 years huffington post darwin financial fears conference Australia Day outsourcing Tuesday Trends Channel 7 consumerism financial annual income australian community trends report NFP event intern Aussie data poor vegetarian goals Australian Communities Trends aged care puzzle Kirsten Brewer Research Executive ultimo sydney event education office opening keynote Christmas day Christmas Stats media commentary renting house prices future proof professional presenters ACF17 follow engagement SMSF research on coffee shbc NBRS going out meals paying to work Tuesday Trend sydney property market local community optus my business awards internships the hills social researcher high school nativity scene home trend demographics high density social life hello fresh generation consumer society trends housing trends brand experience responsive schools Financial Planning Association of Australia google for education mentor baby names australia report English Real Estate professional speaker wealth and income communicate social lives Andrew Duffin divorce rate house price rise overcast micro apartments family population milestone slideshare know the times news eliane miles statistics selfie define holiday norwest rental stress ACT Generation X public speaker social research list house rain product christmas 2017 australian personal growth domestic names teleworking donation Northern Beaches demographic mining boom small business property development ease of travel states waverton mccrindle in the media royal family Res Vis Kiwi Christmas research daily telegraph office space mother's day skills wage 1994 sentiments entrepreneurial prince george lifestyle students sun royal screenage hunger choice workers tea housing Hunter Valley baby names report trends of 2017 TEDx balance men priorities VIC australia TDE sports Scouts Financial Planning Week focus group Macquarie University investment marriage Aussies unemployment happiness generations shopper's pick VET sector forecasting housing growth cultural diveristy story entertainment young australians Australia street gen z urban development FOMO insights sector wide study changing face of sydney REIV Conference ferry coffee lovers state future seasons emerging trends Skilling earnings Myth survey Channel Seven communities environment social impact change 2017 twentyseventeen snapshot local communities commuters mccrindle census results Tasmania recap house price princess charlotte collaboration baby names employmee non profit dare to dream Wodonga renter of the future insight Mount Annan-Currant Hill parents baby name trends anzac demography affordable public speaking professional christianity DIY TED geomapping New Zealand educhat focus groups household australian communities forum capital cities digital teach workshop aged care Work place Jura Australia Financial Planning Association royal influence wages online google Engineering Manager tips 2016 census results events energy households Lower Hunter Region care support 40 million average Australian optus CBD market research medicine social tuesday language optimistic US mover and shaker the great screenage Australian Bureau of Statistics nfp data visualisation ageing ashley mckenzie cash ACF easy rider stay home grave decision hills spirituality future of education shopping centre teacher panel Australian demographics professional services internship greatness daily commute Education Future Forum ACT Report research report cars rule keeper charities employers TAS customer friendship infographic not for profit research Australian Census chairty sunny days leadership workshop the changing face of debate who is generation z younger generations Christmas in Australia Christmas data employmer hobart government coffee Gen X toys the australian dream South Australia graphs Generation Y cancel plans Northern beaches Event census fail NT townhouses program challenge youth sydney metro social media research visualisation volunteers 1980 home owner baby boom Queensland offenders divorce Sydney population Australian Trends dream litter breakfast financial planning student Charlotte community engagement society Geoff Brailey etiquette technology learn alpha dessert Lower Hunter Deaths Canberra brisbane internet McCridle professional development builders SMART media teaching potts point 23 million TEDx Speaker financial dreams Territory educated innovative typical australian Maxim Accounting sydneycity Vocational education public holiday goal digital economy future-proof sustainable Australian communities learning Queensland: QLD Black Friday Sales ashley fell population 2015 learning styles James Ward presentations NBRS Architecture money mythbusting rent Australian Home education future earning blaxland suburban living middle class neutral bay home ownership aussie culture cost SA christmas award winner clothing affordability faith property price growth New Zeland research services staff weather shifts donate salary Business analysis The Daily Edition hills shire tableau hornsby poker master data analyst keynote speaker community event Population Clock culture wealth and income distribution organisational culture VET environmental scanning Australians gold coast omnibus sydneysiders participants housing market food insecurity ethnography trends bus income February 16 australian social research REIV National Conference young people victoria year 7 life holidays personalities Hills Shire Council quote lalor park baby name post rationalism social analysis population map Christmas day weather menai experience work mates brand Do It Yourself owning a home forecast faux-cilising Western Australia moderators guide cartodb McCrindle Speaker Northern Territory politics workplace leader volunteer sector wide 2020 sector seasons greetings kate middleton curiosity mccrindle research millennials perth PSI