6530.0 - Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2015-16 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/09/2017   
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HOUSEHOLD CHARACTERISTICS AND SPENDING


The economic wellbeing of a household - their capacity to meet their living costs and withstand financial shocks while maintaining reasonable living standards - is largely dependent on their income, wealth and household spending. Household spending, even more than income or wealth, demonstrates the means that are available to the household at the time of the survey, as households may spend beyond the income or wealth that they currently have at their disposal. In 2015-16, the average household spent $1,425 per week on goods and services.

Some households spent significantly less than that, including:

  • households that were renting their dwelling from a state or territory housing authority, with average weekly expenditure of $629.
  • households that relied on government pensions and allowances as their main source of household income, with average weekly expenditure of $677.
  • lone person households had an average weekly expenditure of $712 and lone persons aged 65 years and over had an average weekly expenditure of $540.
  • households in which the reference person was 65 years and over, particularly those 75 years and over, with average weekly expenditure of $888 and $671 respectively.

In contrast, households in which weekly spending on goods and services was significantly more than the average included:
  • couple households with dependent children had an average weekly expenditure of $1,992.
  • multiple family households, with average weekly expenditure of $2,238.
  • households who own their own home and had a mortgage, with average weekly expenditure of $1,827.
  • households in which the reference person was aged 35 to 44 years or 45 to 54 years, with average weekly expenditure of $1,716 and $1,757 respectively.
  • households where the main source of income was employee income, with average weekly expenditure of $1,717.

Households that were home to couple families with dependent children spend significantly more an average each week than one parent families with dependent children, $1,992 compared with $1,187.


CHANGES BETWEEN 2009-10 AND 2015-16

Average household spending on goods and services per week increased by 15% between 2009-10 and 2015-16 (without adjusting for inflation), going from $1,236 to $1,425. Over this period, the price of goods and services as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 14%.

Some households were spending significantly more on goods and services per week in 2015-16 than they were in 2009-10, particularly:
  • households in New South Wales (21% increase), Victoria (17% increase), Queensland (10% increase), South Australia (14% increase) and Western Australia (11% increase).
  • households that owned their own with or without a mortgage (15% and 14% increase) and other landlord types (51% increase).
  • multiple family households (38% increase).
  • households in which the reference person was aged 55 to 64 years or 65 years and over (21% and 22% increases respectively).
  • households whose main source of income was employee income (16% increase) or private income (15% increase).

There were also many households where spending did not significantly increase over this period, despite inflation and rising living costs. These included:
  • households in Tasmania (7% increase), the Northern Territory (13% increase) and the Australian Capital Territory (9% increase).
  • households that were renting their dwelling from a state or territory housing authority (12% increase) and other tenure types (22% increase).
  • households in which the reference person was aged 15 to 24 years (4% increase).
  • lone person households aged under 35 years (2% decrease) and group households (4% increase).
  • households whose main source of income was own unincorporated business income (7% increase) or other income (9% increase).