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ACOSS and UNSW Sydney: Inequality in Australia 2018

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The report shines a light on the faces of economic inequality – who is most likely to be left behind or getting ahead. While the level of income inequality has plateaued since the Global Financial Crisis, wealth inequality has continued to grow. We share a concern that the income gap will continue to widen once stronger economic growth resumes. We also share the belief that this is not inevitable and that tax, transfer, labour market and education policies can and must play a more effective role in reducing divisions in our community.

Inequality in Australia 2018

This report is the first in a five year partnership between the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and UNSW Sydney to reduce poverty and inequality in Australia. The goal of the partnership is to provide a robust, independent, authoritative research series that regularly monitors the level, nature and trends in poverty and inequality in Australia. Over the next five years, research will focus on the intersection between poverty and inequality and housing, justice and health issues as well as other social outcomes.

The purpose of this report is to provide a factual underpinning to the debate about inequality in Australia. It lays out the latest information on the incomes and asset holdings of people at the upper, middle and lower rungs of the ladder of economic prosperity, and who sits on each rung. It also maps trends in income inequality from 1999 to 2016, and in wealth inequality from 2003 to 2016 and points to some likely explanations for these. It also compares Australia’s experience with other countries who are members of the OECD.  

Download the report

Inequality in Australia