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How much debt does the average Australian hold?

Michele Levine

The value of assets held by Australians has almost doubled between 2007 and 2019, according to a new market report, which also revealed average debt levels.  

Notably, Australia’s personal wealth levels have grown in the past 12 years, including the global financial crisis, with other OECD nations, particularly in Europe, have gone backwards over this time frame.

The average assets for Australians has grown to 8.1 times the average debt levels, which is an improvement from 7.4 times when the report began. Now the average assets an Australian holds is $484,000.

However, the increase in wealth has come with an increase in debt, which has grown by 78.6 per cent over the same time. The average Australian now holds $60,000 worth of debt.

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Average per capita net wealth adjusted for inflation is up 28 per cent and the median net worth per capita is up 8.8 per cent after inflation.

Women have improved their average net wealth position relative to men, with males now holding an average of 12.3 per cent more wealth than women. This is an improvement from 27.4 per cent advantage to males in 2007. 

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine believes the data does not match the reports when it comes to fears about high debt levels for properties in Australia. 

“Housing debt has grown considerably since 2007, but not uniformly. Roy Morgan’s data shows wealthier cohorts have shown a much greater propensity to take on debt, and those investors have more ability to handle downturns than more marginal borrowers in lower-wealth segments.

“A more detailed understanding of how debt and personal wealth are distributed can help dispel some of the more simplistic fears over debt and give a more balanced view of its relationship to wealth creation in Australia over the long term,” said Ms Levine.

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How much debt does the average Australian hold?
Michele Levine
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