The net wealth gender gap has shrunk over the last 12 years, down from 20% ahead of the GFC to 11% in 2019.
Statistics from the Roy Morgan Wealth Report have the average net wealth (personal assets less debt) for women, at $400,000 on a per capita basis, or 89% of the average net wealth for men of $449,000 – a gap of 11%, or $49,000.
This gender wealth gap has shrunk since 2007 – ahead of the GFC – when net wealth for women was $236,000, 80% of the $296,000 for men – or a 20% gap.
Over the same period the average net wealth per capita of Australians has increased by 59.7%, or 23.8% after accounting for inflation.
“Both genders have shown increased per capita net wealth but the average woman experienced a 69% increase (from $236,000 to $400,000), while men showed a much lower increase of only 52% (from $296,000 to $449,000),” said Roy Morgan.
“Their greater rate of wealth accumulation over the last 12 years has allowed women to gain significant ground towards wealth equality between genders, to the point where their average net wealth is now equal to 89% of the male average.”
Figures for the superannuation gender gap vary, but are worse than these net wealth figures.
CEO of Roy Morgan Michele Levine said: “A great deal of coverage and public comment is focused on income and superannuation inequality between the genders but what we have looked at here is a more holistic view of each gender’s average financial position. Net wealth has been used here as a more relevant single measure of economic circumstances incorporating all assets, including superannuation and subtracting debt.”
“A major contributing factor towards the closing of the wealth gap for females appears to be their increased participation in the workforce which has gone from 56.4% in 2007 to 61.9% in 2019. Also the value of owner occupied homes in a rapidly rising market, when jointly owned, is a contributing factor to closing the gender gap, as both sexes are gaining equally from what is generally the household’s biggest asset.”
The Roy Morgan Wealth Report is based on more than 500,000 face-to-face interviews conducted from 2007 to 2019.