Rich still getting richer

The richest 20 per cent of households own 63 per cent of Australia's net wealth while the poorest 20 per cent own only 0.2 per cent, the Reserve Bank says. The figures are based on a 2002 survey undertaken by the University of Melbourne. The top 20 per cent is 284 times richer than the bottom 20 per cent, with an average $1.4 million in assets and $121,000 in debts – a net worth of $1,276,600. The poorest 20 per cent have an average net worth of just $4,500 each. Wealth is concentrated amongst Australians who are university graduates, older, and own their own homes. The richest group is aged 55 to 64, with an average net worth of just over $700,000. Property ownership is closely allied with wealth and makes up 54 per cent of the total wealth of Australians.

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