Study: Women Increasingly The Main Breadwinner In Aussie Households

Study: Women Increasingly The Main Breadwinner In Aussie Households

It’s a common saying that it’s the woman in the house that makes all the buying decisions and now a new study says Australia’s females are increasingly a household’s chief breadwinner, too.

The study by Roy Morgan Research, to coincide with International Women’s Day tomorrow, found that 52 per cent of women claim they’re their household chief breadwinner. This was up from 39 per cent a decade ago.

However, when the question was posed to men, some 74 per cent said they were they’re households main breadwinner (it was 73 per cent in 2006).

Roy Morgan argued the discrepancies arose because of people’s different circumstances. For example, while 57 per cent of women who live with a partner but no kids say they’re the main income earner (up from 37 per cent in 2006), only 33 per cent of those who live with their partner and at least one child self-identify this way. Unsurprisingly, 95 per cent of women in single-parent households are the main breadwinner (up from 91 per cent a decade ago).

Main income earner in household by gender: 2006 vs 2016


The proportion of partnered men who consider themselves their household’s main income earner has changed little since 2006, despite the growing proportion of women identifying themselves this way. Some 85 per cent of men who live with their partner but no kids say they earn the main income (compared with 82 per cent in 2006), as do 86 per cent of those living with their partner and kids (up from 85 per cent). Among single fathers, 91 per cent say they’re the main breadwinner (up from 85 per cent).

Roy Morgan also noted the rise in the average income earned by full-time female workers over the last decade: from $51,000 to $73,500. Whereas women’s incomes were an average 27 per cent less than men’s in 2006, the gap is gradually closing – with the mean income of full-time female workers now 16 per cent lower than that of their male counterparts.

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