EXTRACT from an article by Jessica Irvine, 30 July 2018
Young Australians – those aged under 35 – have experienced the sharpest increase in wealth inequality of any age group, a new report reveals.
It is well known that two successive property booms over the past two decades have opened up a yawning gap in the average wealth of younger and older Australians.
But a new report, released on Tuesday by the Australian Council of Social Services and the University of NSW, exposes the extent to which fortunes are also diverging between younger Australians.
The homeownership rate of Australians aged 25 to 34 fell from 61 per cent in 1981 to 47 per cent in 2011.
Those under 35 are investing more in assets such as shares and investment properties rather than their own homes. But these assets are becoming more concentrated in hands of fewer wealthy young Australians deepening inequality.
Overall, the report finds that overall income inequality – on the most commonly cited measure of the “Gini coefficient” – has “plateaued” since the global financial crisis.
However, the head of ACOSS, Cassandra Goldie and UNSW Professor, Peter Saunders, warn that: “We share a concern that the income gap will continue to widen once stronger economic growth resumes.”
The study was funded by various groups including the Australian Red Cross, Brotherhood of St Laurence, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, The Smith Family and Anglicare Australia. It concludes income inequality in Australia is “unacceptably large”, with households in the top fifth of households by income enjoying an average income five times that of households in the bottom fifth ($3978 a week versus $735).
SOURCE: Irvine, Jessica. “Young Australians Increasingly Divided as Dreams of Home-ownership Dim.” Sydney Morning Herald, 30 July 2018
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Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia