Definition and measure
People in households with low incomes may have more difficulty meeting their material and non-material needs and experience economic hardship. Having insufficient economic resources limits people’s ability to participate in and belong to their community and wider society, which restricts their quality of life.
This indicator uses income thresholds to define the proportion of the population with low incomes. Incomes are before housing costs, and after adjusting for household size and composition. The thresholds used are set at 50 and 60 percent of median household disposable income from each Household Economic Survey.
Between 1988 and 2015, income inequality between households with high incomes and those with low incomes widened
- In 2015, the disposable income of a high-income household was over two-and-a-half times larger than that of a low-income household.
- Between 1988 and 2015, the income inequality ratio increased from 2.24 to 2.61.
Since 1988, the proportion of the population in households with low incomes has increased
- In 2015, the proportion of the population with household disposable incomes below 60 & 50% of median income was 18% and 10%, respectively.
- The proportion of the population with low household disposable incomes increased steadily from 1998 to a peak in 2004