October 29, 2019

New Roy Morgan Report Fills the Information Gap on Australians’ Net Wealth

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 8185
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There has been no shortage of attempts to measure the true state of wealth in Australia. Some have focused on income, others have tracked debt and yet others have tried to quantify assets. They have supplied pieces of the puzzle. But no-one has been able to provide the full picture on the Net Wealth held by individual Australians — until now. 

The Roy Morgan Wealth Report 2019, released today, fills the gaps, providing evidence-based answers to the lingering questions about wealth in our nation. By calculating total personal assets and subtracting total personal debt, the report offers the first fully detailed data on Australians’ Net Wealth.

This information matters because wealth, and the way it is distributed, is intrinsically linked to Australia’s economic resilience and future.

Among the key findings:

  • Australians’ per capita gross wealth increased in real terms between 2007 (i.e. pre-GFC) and June 2019 by 20.9%, from $306,100 to $370,200.
  • However, the strong growth generally seen over this period has stagnated in the last six months. In fact, we have begun to see a decline, with per capita gross wealth dropping by around $5,000 (1.4%) from the first to the second quarter of 2019.
  • Owner occupied homes currently account for $4,944 billion, or around half (50.1%), of Australians’ personal asset value.
  • The growth in Net Wealth is possible because, although debt is growing, it’s growing more slowly than the growth in assets. In real terms, from 2007 to 2019 Australians’ per capita debt increased by 13.7% while assets grew by 20.9%.
  • The share of Net Wealth held by women is growing, but there is still a gender gap. In 2007, the average Net Wealth per capita held by women was 79.7% of that held by men. By June 2019, this had risen to 88.3%.
  • Globally, the richest 10% of the population hold 47% of the wealth; that figure is matched almost perfectly in Australia, with the wealthiest 10% of the population holding 47.3% of Net Wealth. Meanwhile the bottom five deciles, a full 50% of our population, have just 3.6% of Net Wealth. And inequality has increased, rather than decreased, between 2007 and 2019.

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, face-to-face interviews conducted in respondents’ homes 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 Net Wealth by age, gender, location, employment type 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, “We undertook this research because it is vital that Australia’s political leaders, policy advisers, corporate executives, NGOs and other social service providers have rich factual evidence and context on which to base decisions. Some of what we found was expected, but other findings challenge accepted beliefs such as who benefitted most from the mining boom. 

“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.”

Michele Levine is available for interview to discuss the findings in detail.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

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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