Roy Morgan Research
June 30, 2023

Australians are wealthier than before COVID, but half the population holds over 95% of the wealth

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 9267

After inflation, Australia’s wealth increased by 7.0% between March 2020 (pre-COVID) and March 2023 driven largely by the soaring value of owner-occupied homes – up 43.2% from $4.16 trillion to $5.95 trillion.

The value of debt increased more quickly than the value of assets (53.0% vs. 22.2%), but not enough to stop the growth in overall wealth – the value of assets is now six times higher than the value of debt.

Half the population now accounts for 95.4% of the nation’s net wealth, and the other half accounts for only 4.6% of net wealth.

However, the wealth held by the richest 10% of the population fell from 47.6% to 42.1% of the nation’s wealth. The share of wealth held by the next wealthiest 40% increased the most, from 48.9% to 53.3%. The poorest half of the population, dominated by renters, saw their share of wealth increase – but only from 3.6% to 4.6%.

The lowest 10% of the population has had the toughest period during the pandemic with net wealth for this decile going backwards at a rapid rate. The average amount of net wealth held by this decile is in negative territory and going backwards – down by over 400% from March 2020. The lowest 10% of the population is the only decile to lose wealth over the last three years.

The importance of home ownership in generating wealth is illustrated by the fact that the wealthiest 10% of Australians is dominated by those who have paid off, or are paying off, their home loans. Only 1% of the wealthiest decile are renters.

The Sixth Edition of the Roy Morgan Wealth Report 2023, released today, provides the full picture of individual Australians' wealth and how that has changed during COVID. The report offers fully detailed data on Australians’ Net Wealth by calculating total personal assets (owner/ occupier home, superannuation/ pensions & annuities, deposit & transaction accounts, property investments, other direct investments & managed funds) and subtracting total personal debt (owner occupied mortgages, mortgage or investment property, personal loans, other loans & total cards).

Roy Morgan is able to deliver this information thanks to Australia’s most extensive and longest-running study of consumer financial behaviour. The study, which has been running continuously for more than 20 years, involves over 50,000 in-depth, multi-mode interviews each year. This provides privileged access to every aspect of Australians’ lives, including fully detailed financial positions, providing data of unmatched depth and breadth.

It enables analysis of genuine gross wealth by age, location, home ownership status and more, showing precisely what form that wealth takes, how evenly or otherwise it is distributed, how it has grown, and what further shifts are likely in coming years.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says:

Block Quote

“As a country, we have done pretty well since March 2020, and remember that’s not just since COVID, over that period we’ve also had 13 interest rate increases, crushing cost-of-living pressures and alarming inflation.

“So to find ourselves 7.0% wealthier now than back then, even after accounting for inflation, is a very good result.

“The other exceptional finding in the latest Wealth Report is that so much wealth is in the hands of the top half of the population. To see that the bottom half holds less than 5% of the wealth speaks to a wealth divide in Australia. And the finding that the poorest 10% of our nation has gone backwards, and is further in debt, is extremely worrying. This is the kind of critical insight that is only available through deep data that begins with a holistic view of individual Australians.

“There are well-established links connecting overall wealth and wealth distribution to national wellbeing in the broadest sense, and we are committed to continuing to provide this kind of crucial data.

“The Roy Morgan Wealth Report is part of our long history of mapping the trends and changes in Australian society. It provides political and business leaders and those heading vital NGOs with solid evidence-based data to optimise the decisions they make for the benefit of all Australians.”

The Roy Morgan Wealth Report

The sixth edition of the 'Roy Morgan Wealth Report' provides financial institutions, government and other organisations with unique insights into Australians’ personal wealth by measuring both debt and assets. It uses information derived from the most extensive and long-running study of consumer financial behaviour in Australia to fill the knowledge gaps around individual wealth across the whole population.

With the onset of COVID, the state of wealth worldwide was severely impacted. This report takes the start of the pandemic (March 2020) as the initial point of focus and measures the impact on Australia of this global upheaval and tracks the changes in wealth up until March 2023. To provide historical context, the time-series charts in this report show data back to 2007, although commentary is focused on the differences between March 2020 and March 2023.

It details the makeup of both assets and debt and the wealth breakdown across a range of variables including age, state location, wealth deciles and employment type.

Each edition also includes a special spotlight. For the sixth edition, this is the change and difference in wealth outcomes based on home ownership status: those owing their home outright, those paying off their home and those renting.

In this report, you’ll gain a better understanding of Australians’:

• Personal Wealth

• Personal Debts

• Net Wealth

You’ll be able to view:

• Detailed Asset Analysis

• Demographic and Geographic Trends

• Long-term National Trends

You can use this report to:

• See how demographic shifts are altering assets and debt in Australia, and the impact this is having on Net Wealth

• Scope your own client/customer data against the bigger picture of personal wealth in Australia

• Inform policy decisions (for Banks, Financial Institutions, Government and more) on vital issues including retirement funding for an ageing population.

• Maximise advertising spend to reach the most receptive audience (for Corporations, Government and NGOs).

• Ensure organisational strategic plans account for changing wealth trends across the population.

Additional Information

Roy Morgan has a uniquely large and detailed source of financial data, compiled from more than 50,000 interviews annually over more than two decades.

This report explores personal wealth and debt, providing crucial information with detailed segment analysis, including wealth deciles, demographics, geographic breakdowns, and psychographics.

It provides users with an evidence-based understanding of the state of Australians’ personal wealth and debt: its composition, where it is held, who holds it and how that is changing.

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to purchase the latest Roy Morgan Wealth Report.

To learn more about Roy Morgan’s extensive data on wealth including the latest data from the Roy Morgan Wealth Report, call (+61) (3) 9224 5309 or email

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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