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These Facts About Inequality In Australia Will Hurt Your Brain

Eat the rich.

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A new report by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has revealed staggering levels of inequality in Australia.

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The study used a range of data about wealth and income, including figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and found that inequality in Australia is higher than the OECD average.

1. The wealthiest 20% in Australia have 70 times more wealth than the bottom 20%.

Wealth is concentrated in the hands of the rich, with the top 10% of wealth holders owning 45% of all wealth. The bottom 40% of households own just 5% of all wealth in Australia.

Wealth includes assets like housing and money saved in the bank. The average household wealth of the top 20% is $2.02 million with an average household income of $232,175.

The bottom 20% have an average wealth of $44,250 and average income of $33,911.

In terms of income inequality, a person in the top 20% income group has five times as much income as someone in the bottom 20%.

2. And rising house prices are making everything worse.

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The report says a high level of home ownership in Australia has kept wealth inequality in check, but fewer young people are buying homes.

Back in the 1980s, more than 60% of people aged 25 to 34 owned a house. Now, it's only 48%. ACOSS says this bodes poorly for the future.

This problem is compounded by wealthy people buying properties for investment and negative gearing. The wealthiest 20% own 80% of all the wealth in investment housing, making it harder for others to enter the market.

4. Inequality also depends on where you live.

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If you live in Tasmania, you're more likely to be in the bottom 20% of income earners. If you live in Western Australia, you're more likely to be in the top 20%.

City people are generally better off than people from regional Australia.

5. ACOSS believes this can be fixed by making the taxation system more fair and better managing rising unemployment.

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Cassandra Goldie, the chief executive of ACOSS says the widening gap between rich and poor is "dividing our nation and threatening the wellbeing of our communities."

"By removing the current barriers preventing some people from participating and sharing in our nation's wealth, we can change the current trajectory and sow the seeds of a fairer, more inclusive, and more prosperous society," she said.

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