Australians are much richer than they were 10 years ago...
Australians are much richer than they were 10 years ago... Barry Leddicoat

Aussies richer, but single parents still lagging behind

MOST Australians are richer than they were 10 years ago - apart from single parents who continue to lag behind most other groups when it comes to personal finances.

The annual national Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia report was released this week, providing one of the best pictures of personal income and work in the country.

Lead author Roger Wilkins wrote the survey found between 2002 and 2010, median wealth of households rose 50.1% in real terms to $399,353.

He wrote the rate of wealth growth was highest for the poorest Australians, while there was a slight fall in the wealth of Australia's richest 1% of people.

"Interestingly, however, it appears that inequality in the distribution of wealth decreased between 2002 and 2010," Mr Wilkins wrote.

The report also revealed mean net wealth per adult household member rose 35% from $291,442 in 2002 to $400,617 in 2010.

It also confirmed Australia's youngest independent people were the lowest paid, with incomes increasing until people turned 55, at which point wealth fell slightly.

Mr Wilkins wrote non-elderly single people, including lone parents, had the lowest average wealth levels at about $70,000 in 2002 and about $100,000 in 2010.

"Elderly couples have the highest median net wealth followed by non-elderly couples without dependent children and then non-elderly couples with dependent children," he wrote.

"Growth in median wealth between 2002 and 2010 was around 50% for the majority of family types, the exceptions being non-elderly couples and non-elderly single females, for which growth was around 30%."

Household income includes the combined income of all members of a household, plus government pensions and deductions of taxes, adjusted for inflation, creating figures that may seem high but are more statistically accurate.

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