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‘Haves’ and ‘have nots’: Toyotas take charge

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Mosman in Sydney’s North Shore had the highest income in Australia in 2008/09 at $130,637 – well above the national average of $46,904. The information was contained in a Bureau of Statistics (ABS) study of Tax Office data.

The second highest income region was Mosman Park in Western Australia at $116,197. Average income in Mosman Park soared 46.2 per cent in 2008/09.

The ABS found that over two-thirds of regions in Australia had average incomes lower than the national average.

According to the latest census, Australia had 16.4 million motor vehicles as at 31 January 2011, up 2.3 per cent over the past year and up 14.5 per cent over the past five years. An extra 300,000 are being added to our roads each year.

One in five cars on the road is a Toyota. Over the past five years, the number of Toyota vehicles has increased almost 20 per cent whereas the number of Holden, Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan cars has fallen.

What does it all mean?

The Australian Taxation Office has valuable data on personal income and now further analysis has been provided by the Bureau of Statistics. While most businesses and government agencies would love the data to be two days old, not two years, analysing the latest figures and trends provides valuable insights.

Clearly wealth is highly concentrated in Australia in a small number of areas in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. And there are huge gaps between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Even in the top regions there is a gap of over $43,000 between the region with the top income in Australia and the region at number 10 in the ranking.

If you thought the traffic had been far busier over the past year, you aren’t far off the mark. Australia now has over 16.4 million vehicles, a figure that has increased by 300,000 vehicles in the past year alone. And we have around two vehicles for every household in Australia. Compare that with China where there are only around 13 vehicles per 1000 households.

The old saying is that Australia was represented by football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars. But that last part has changed markedly over the years. Now one in every five cars on the road is a Toyota. In fact, Toyotas have increased in number by almost 20 per cent in the past year whereas Holden and Ford numbers have actually declined.

What do the figures show?

The ABS has undertaken a study of average total income data for 2008-09 by Statistical Local Area (SLA).

Mosman (NSW) had the highest income at $130,637, well above Woollahra (NSW) with $116,922, Mosman Park (WA) with $116,197 and Hunters Hill (NSW) with $105,730.

The ABS reported: “Over two-thirds of SLAs in Australia recorded average total incomes lower than the national average ($46,904). The highest average total incomes were recorded in the SLAs surrounding Sydney Harbour (Mosman, Woollahra, Hunters Hill), in Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove, Cottesloe and Nedlands in Perth, Ascot and Hamilton in Brisbane, and Stonnington – Prahran and Bayside – Brighton in Melbourne. Outside the capital city statistical divisions, the SLAs with the highest average total incomes were located in the mining regions of Western Australia (Roebourne, Ashburton, East Pilbara, Port Hedland), Queensland (Isaac – Belyando and Broadsound) and South Australia (Roxby Downs).

Average income grew fastest in Western Australia in 2008/09 (up 8.7 per cent), followed by Northern Territory (up 6.6 per cent) and ACT (up 6.5 per cent).

As at 31 January 2011, there were 16,368, 383 motor vehicles in Australia, an increase of just over 300,000 vehicles or 2.3 per cent over the past year.

Of the total, there were 12,474,044 passenger cars as at 31 January, up almost 205,000 or two per cent over the past year.

There were 730 motor vehicles per 1000 people in 2011, up from 696 motor vehicles per 1000 resident population in 2006. Western Australia has the highest number of vehicles on a per capita basis at 829 vehicles per head. Northern Territory has the lowest at 596 vehicles per head.

The average age of the vehicle fleet remained at 10 years in 2011.

Of passenger cars, there were just over 2.5 million Toyota cars on the road at 31 January, up 2.7 per cent over the past year and up 19.6 per cent over the past five years. There were 2.056 million Holden cars and 1.654 million Ford cars at 31 January. One in five cars on the road is a Toyota.

What is the importance of the economic data?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has undertaken a study of incomes across regional areas for 2003/04 to 2008/09. The study is useful in highlighting income disparities across Australia and will be useful in other analyses such as looking at housing affordability.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) regularly undertakes a census of motor vehicles in Australia. The figures are useful in showing spending trends and also useful to planning bodies in state and local government.

What are the implications for businesses and investors?

While the data is now two years old, the figures on personal income per region represent a valuable resource for businesses across Australia. Clearly any business worth its salt would be identifying the fastest and slowest growing income regions, shifts in population and shifts in demographic groups.

The motor vehicle census is very timely data showing the number of vehicles on the road and the trends over time in terms of the type and make of vehicle. Again for businesses analysis of the trends potentially provides valuable insights.

Published on: Friday, July 29, 2011

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