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Richest 10% of Aussies wealthier than poorest 50% combined

New figures reveal the wealth divide in Australia. Images: Getty

Inequality has worsened in last decade, with Australia’s richest 10 per cent holding nearly half of the country’s entire net wealth, according to a new report.

This group holds 47.3 per cent of Australia’s net wealth, while the poorest 50 per cent hold just 3.6 per cent, the Roy Morgan Wealth Report 2019 has found.

The recent property rebound has been led by the most expensive tier of properties, which have seen the largest benefits of the surge. The wealthiest 20 per cent of Australian households control 60 per cent of all household wealth.

The surge is expected to make Australia’s wealthy even wealthier, with global property group Knight Frank expecting the number of Australians worth more than US$30 to grow by 20 per cent over the coming five years.

“There are well-established links connecting overall wealth and wealth distribution to national wellbeing in the broadest sense,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.

Internationally, the richest 10 per cent have 47 per cent of the wealth and according to charity Oxfam, the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.

The Roy Morgan report also found that Australians’ per capita gross wealth increased between 2007 and June 2019 by 20.9 per cent, from $306,100 in the pre-GFC era to $370,300.

But in the last six months, the strong growth previously seen dropped off, with per capita gross wealth falling by around $5,000 between the first and second quarters of 2019.

“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 per cent while assets grew by 20.9 per cent.”

And, the share of net wealth by Australian women is growing, up to 91.4 per cent of the amount held by men from 81.9 per cent in 2007.

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