How does your income compare?

Posted on May 16, 2017 by ATB Chartered Accountants

What people deem to be a comfortable income has changed from having access to a home, food, health care and an education, to include international holidays, attending private schools, and having the latest technology. According to the Australian Council of Social Service’s 2016 report, there are 2.9 million Australians living in poverty, This is 13.3% of the Australian population.

Seemingly lifetimes ago, an income of $100,000 was a marker of achievement and satisfaction in young professionals, but now it seems to be the bare minimum for individuals who want to own property, send their children to a good school, travel, and top up your superannuation to at least $1 million.

Currently, the average national wage in Australia is $79,721, with wage growth remaining stagnant. The table below indicates the average annual earning of Australians in all states and territories in 2016, as reported by Living in Australia.

State/Territory Average Annual Wage
Tasmania $69,477
South Australia $73,757
Victoria $75,634
Queensland $75,936
New South Wales $80,132
Northern Territory $81,624
Western Australia $88,327
Capital Territory $89,846

While your current income may not seem like enough for you to live comfortably, an interactive calculator by Care International highlights that this is not the case. The calculator, ‘the Global Rich List’, is an income comparison calculator, allowing users to see how far just an hour of the salary can go. For those Australians earning $100,000 a year, they are actually in the top 0.08% richest people in the world, earning an average of $52.08 an hour while workers in Ethiopia are earning $0.23. Care International’s ‘Rich List’ allows people to understand that despite everyday money pressures, they are a lot better off than they realise. Particularly in Australia, 71% of the top income earners thought they were poorer than the top income band, while 72% of lowest income earners thought they we’re better off than they are.