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Richest and poorest suburbs and the gender pay gap: the divide between Australians revealed

Alex Ritchie avatar
Alex Ritchie
- 4 min read
Richest and poorest suburbs and the gender pay gap: the divide between Australians revealed

New data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has highlighted where Australians are still seeing a financial divide.

The ATO has released its latest taxation statistics for the tax returns lodged for 2019-20, based on almost 15 million Australians’ data. These figures include the highest-earning and lowest-earning postcodes in Australia based on average taxable income, with the majority of all rich and poor suburbs based in New South Wales.

This data offers an interesting insight into the wages and taxes of ordinary Australians, including the average taxable income earned and the average superannuation balance. Not surprisingly, these figures indicate that the gender gaps for pay and super are still prevalent.

The richest and poorest postcodes in Australia

Most postcodes topping the list were located in New South Wales, with a significant portion in the affluent Eastern Suburbs area. Western Australia’s Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove (6011), however, ranked number one, housing the postcode where residents have the highest average taxable income in the country.

Top 10 postcodes with the highest average taxable income

Top 10PostcodeState/ TerritorySuburb nameAverage taxable income or loss
16011WACottesloe, Peppermint Grove

$325,343

22027NSWDarling Point, Edgecliff, HMAS Rushcutters, Point Piper

$205,957

32023NSWBellevue Hill

$195,204

42030NSWDover Heights, HMAS Watson, Rose Bay North, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay

$186,025

53142VICHawksburn, Toorak

$184,939

62088NSWMosman, Spit Junction

$177,645

72110NSWHunters Hill, Woolwich

$175,907

82025NSWWoollahra

$172,600

92063NSWNorthbridge

$170,619

102028NSWDouble Bay

$170,051

Source: ATO.gov.au. Notes: The top 10 is based on average taxable income and only includes delivery area postcodes. Medians and averages are generated using all individuals who reported at the taxable income or loss label or the total income or loss label, whether the value was zero or not

The average taxable income for these affluent areas was between $170,051 - $325,343. Comparatively, the majority of the postcodes in the lowest-earning taxable income list actually recorded a loss in income, up to -$23,484.

While most of the richest postcodes were in New South Wales, most of the lowest income-earning suburbs were located there as well. These figures reflect the significant wealth disparity between the capital city residents and regional Australians.

Top 10 postcodes with the lowest average taxable income

Top 10PostcodeState/ TerritorySuburb nameAverage taxable income or loss
12398NSWGurley

-$23,484

22386NSWBurren Junction, Drildool, Nowley

-$17,794

32405NSWBoomi, Garah

-$14,763

45013SAGillman, Ottoway, Pennington, Rosewater, Rosewater East

-$7,906

52397NSWBellata, Jews Lagoon, Millie

-$4,645

64423QLDGlenmorgan, Teelba

-$1,172

72873NSWAlbert, Five Ways, Miamley, Tottenham

$9,822

84426QLDJackson, Jackson North, Jackson South

$9,851

95309SABorrika, Halidon, Mindarie, Sandalwood

$11,576

104498QLDKioma, Toobeah

$11,807

Source: ATO.gov.au.

It’s worth noting that these postcodes with lower average taxable incomes have significantly smaller populations or number of individuals that lodged tax returns in many instances. For example, the top three postcodes listed have a combined individual total of 618. Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove (6011, WA) comparatively have 6,581 individuals recorded.

ATO figures showcase gender gap still prevalent

The latest ATO statistics offered an insight into what Australians were earning and putting into their super funds in the financial year 2019-2020. And when you break it down by gender, the results showcase that the gender gaps for pay and super are still a concern.

Keep in mind that this period marked the beginning of the pandemic on Australian shores, and the rolling out of JobKeeper and JobSeeker financial support.

The average taxable income for Australians in FY2019-20 was just $63,882. Australian men still out-earn women on average, earning $74,559 to women’s $52,798. These figures go to show that the gender pay gap is still real for many women, thanks to social and economic factors like women taking on a significant portion of the caretaker role.

Further, the ATO’s figures around superannuation paint a similar picture, with men having larger median and average superannuation balances compared to women.

Superannuation balances, men and women

FY2018-19FY2019-20
MaleFemaleTotalMaleFemaleTotal
Average superannuation account balance

($)

162,275128,068143,910161,834129,506145,388
Median superannuation account balance

($)

57,88345,11849,41356,42544,63449,374

Source: ATO.gov.a

While the balances of both men and women fell from FY2018-19 to FY2019-20, women’s super fund balances were still several thousands of dollars behind the super balances of men.

A median superannuation account balance of $56,425 for men and $44,634 for women is still on the lower side of what experts recommend is needed for a comfortable retirement, this $12,000 gap can quickly balloon over a 40-year career.

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Product database updated 23 Jul, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.