This is an all-source income, opportunities and well-being brief for Australian quality of life prospects, looking towards 2017.
1.0 Income Ranges – High, Low, Median & Average
Australian personal and household income reached an all time high in 2016.
Highest earning individual range, from base salary, is currently between $140k-$350k in the highest tier.
Median full time (FT) income in Australia approximates $60k, with the average approaching $80k.
Of the highest earning professions, the majority were medical practitioners on most metrics.
This included surgeons, anaesthetists, internists, psychiatrists and general practice physicians being listed separately to “other medical specialties”.
Of the non medical professions, professors and associated academics make the list by hourly pay, but fall away on final measures.
The other first tier positions are consistently filled by: Judges, lawyers and other legal professionals; banking and market professionals; CEOs and large corporate managers/directors; and energy sector and mining engineers.
2.0 Welfare Recipient & Under/Unemployment Ranges
Welfare support claims are exceptionally low. This is despite the aging population. Long term poverty has continued to fall to record lows.
It appears people working longer is offsetting fears of the welfare state “tipping point”, as it appeared was impending 10 years ago. Those receiving income support are more likely to additionally be working in a part time job.
Households are tending to be larger, and for longer. This is from children leaving home later; children moving back in with parents in mid-later life; and parents displaying a tendency towards moving in with their children in later life.
Overall welfare support being provided is at a 15 year historic low in 2016.
Single men are least likely to receive welfare support for more than 2 years. Single women are most likely, though it should be noted single parents are the most likely category – over 80% of which are also women.
Despite offsets, the largest cost to the budget in Australia remains the aged pension.
Unemployment range is 4%-8%.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has the lowest unemployment (4.1%), South Australia the highest (7.8%), with all other states hovering around 5.7%.
The largest numbers of new jobs were created in the sectors of: Health Care and Social Assistance; Scientific and Technical Services; Education and Training; Construction; Retail Sales Trade; and Hospitality and accommodation services.
Health Care and Social Assistance is expected to provide 1 in 5 new jobs by the end of 2019.
3.0 Life Expectancy
Life expectancy is currently among the highest in the world at ~83 years on some validated metrics. This is higher than similar countries including the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Those currently in mid life (~60 years) have a life expectancy to 84 years if male and 88 years if female.
In the older bracket, a male currently 80 years is expected to live to 92 years. A female currently 80 years is expected to live to 94. This is as disease risk changes as one ages, at the tails paradoxically decreasing.
The highest point for both male and female currently living in Australia is 113 years.
It is thought these gains are predominantly due to the social welfare safety net, access to medical care, and the impact that these have across the lifespan.
Internationally, Australia ranks in the highest level for civic engagement and above average in wealth; environmental quality; health; housing; employment opportunity; education; subjective well-being; and social cohesion.
Australia is again ranked in the first tier (9th) of the happiest places to live on earth, according to the World Happiness Index for 2016.
For comparison, United States ranked second tier (13th), with the United Kingdom falling to tier 3 (23rd).
So, stop complaining.
JJR (2016) Making Australia Great Again: Income & Well-Being In Australia Brief for 2017. JChronLettSc, 01612(07), Ed3.
*JJR is the behavioral psychiatry and research science investigator for the Chronicle LS.
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