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ABS finds Australia wealthier, smarter but not fairer

By Nick Bendel
14 May 2014 | 2 minute read

Australia has become a wealthier and more educated country but has not become any fairer, according to statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


The ABS has released new data that measures Australia’s progress in several areas between 2002 and 2012, with the economy getting pass marks on most of the seven measures on which it was graded.

Living standards increased during that time, with real net national disposable income growing from $40,600 per person to $51,800 per person.

Average unemployment fell from 6.4 per cent to 5.2 per cent, while real net wealth per capita and foreign trade grew.

Economic opportunities also improved as workers became more educated. In 2012, 70 per cent of Australians aged from 20 to 64 had a Certificate III or above, compared to 64 per cent in 2007.

However, the economy became less resilient due to a 2.1 per cent fall in productivity.

Fairness levels in the economy remained stable, since there was almost no change in the ratio of income received by low-income households to that received by middle-income households.

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