Found an article in the News today that is worth a read...
'10pc of nation have 45pc of wealth'
By Shane Wright
JUST 10 per cent of Australians have 45 per cent of the nation's wealth.
A report by the Melbourne Institute into the way wealth is carved up across the country has found a small number of people have the lions share of the nation's property, bank accounts – even cars.
Forty-five per cent of the nation's wealth is held by the wealthiest 10 per cent of the population. Thirty-one per cent of Australian wealth is in the hands of the richest 5 per cent.
The least wealthy 10 per cent are so poor they actually have a median debt of $6000.
The wealthiest 10 per cent have a net worth of about $1.8 million each.
A typical household has assets of about $270,000, and a net worth of $218,000.
A research associate with the institute, Gary Marks, said although the spread of wealth was not entirely unexpected, it was surprising there was such inequality when it came to wealth.
"Wealth is much more unequally distributed than household income," he said.
The wealthiest 10 per cent of Australians have a fair bit of the country.
They account for 38 per cent of total property, 40 per cent of total superannuation, 61 per cent of equity investments, 80 per cent of business ownership, 39 per cent of what's in the nation's bank accounts – and even 26 per cent of the value of Australian vehicles.
Australian wealth is heavily tied up in bricks and mortar.
Of the median $1.8 million wealth of the wealthiest 10 per cent, $770,000 of it is in property.
A typical household, by contrast, has about $200,000 in property plus another $27,300 in superannuation.
The report found a few pointers to what makes a wealthy household.
The single biggest factor appears to be a person's country of birth. The report found a household headed by an Australian-born male, aged about 55, was much more likely to be wealthy than any other.
Households headed by someone with a university degree were about 35 per cent wealthier than the norm. Households headed by someone who failed to finish year 12 were substantially less wealthy.
People who are married, or at least in a de facto relationship, are also more wealthy than singles.
As most parents would understand, children actually reduce a couple's overall wealth levels.
The least wealthy families were sole parents.
"Lone parents, nearly all women, were both the least wealthiest and the least well off," it found.
The institute found there is some connection between social habits and wealth.
Smokers are less wealthy, drinkers – except those who drink to excess – are wealthier, while exercise seemed to make no difference.
Another one of the authors, Bruce Headey, said wealth was heavily skewed towards the older members of a community.
The median wealth of people aged between 55 and 65 was $444,000. For those aged between 18 and 24, it was just $8,000.
"Wealth is not closely linked to a persons socioeconomic background," he said.
But there is one striking similarity between the poorest and wealthiest families – all of us have credit-card debts.
The richest 10 per cent of the population accounts for 9 per cent of total credit-card debt. The poorest 10 per cent account for the same proportion.