Roy Morgan Research
August 12, 2019

Females closing the gender wealth gap

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 8072
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The average net wealth (personal assets minus debt) per capita of females in Australia in the year to March 2019 was $400k, equal to 89% of the male average of $449k. This gap is now much smaller than it was pre GFC in 2007 when the female average was only $236k or 80% of the $296k male average. 

This is one of the latest findings from the second edition of the Roy Morgan Wealth Report, just released, which covers the period from before the GFC (2007) to 2019. The report is drawn from over half a million in-depth face-to-face interviews conducted in Australians homes over the period from 2007 to 2019.

High growth in net wealth since GFC

The average net wealth per capita of Australians has grown from $285,600 in 2007 to $424,200 in 2019, an increase of 59.7%. This is an increase in real terms (allowing for inflation) of nearly a quarter (+23.8%). Both genders have shown increased per capita net wealth but the average woman experienced a 69% increase (from $236,000 to $400,000), while men showed a much lower increase of only 52% (from $296,000 to $449,000). Their greater rate of wealth accumulation over the last 12 years has allowed women to gain significant ground towards wealth equality between genders, to the point where their average net wealth is now equal to 89% of the male average.

Personal Net Wealth Gender Comparison - 2007 v 2019

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia): 12 months to March 2019, n = 51,362; 12 months to December 2007, n = 54,212. Base: Australians 14+.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says:

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“A great deal of coverage and public comment is focused on  income and superannuation inequality between the genders but what we have looked at here is a more holistic view of each gender’s average financial position. Net wealth has been used here as a more relevant single measure of economic circumstances incorporating all assets, including superannuation and subtracting debt.

“A major contributing factor towards the closing of the wealth gap for females appears to be their increased participation in the workforce which has gone from 56.4% in 2007 to 61.9% in 2019. Also the value of owner occupied homes in a rapidly rising market, when jointly owned, is a contributing factor to closing the gender gap, as both sexes are gaining equally from what is generally the household’s biggest asset.

“Further detailed analysis of differences in net wealth between the genders, across different socio-economic levels, and much more can be found in the newly released Roy Morgan Wealth Report July 2019.

“The additional data available via Roy Morgan Single Source and the psychographic segmentation tools provided by Roy Morgan Helix Personas, allow businesses and government to analyse the data to get a really in-depth understanding of the wealth position of Australians.”

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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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