We’re generally a mixed lot. Suburbs with big expensive homes rubbing shoulders with more modest ones are familiar to many of us. Weekly personal incomes are another addition to the current data release. In this example we show postcodes where a threshold percentage of the total population have both low and high weekly incomes. In this overview of NSW / ACT, postcodes where more than 15% of the population have weekly incomes below $300 are shown in shades of red and pink. We can see just two regions – in Sydney and Canberra – where any significant areas of green occur, green represents postcodes where 5% or more of the population have weekly incomes higher than $3000.
Looking more closely at Sydney, we see quite a few postcodes with a mix of both low and high income populations. Student life is notoriously frugal, explaining the low income status of the two university campuses. However the large number of postcodes showing more than 20% of the population living essentially “below the bread line” is a bit worrying. We would need to investigate further to tease out any underlying patterns. Might they be concentrations of welfare dependent refugees, for example? Or perhaps areas where a black economy is thriving? It seems impossible for that many people to be living on such a low weekly income in one of the world’s most expensive cities. This example uses discrete colour changes for each range of values, it makes it really stand out where the change from under 20%, to 20% or over for low incomes are, for example. It is sometimes preferable to visualise the range of data more gradually, the second version of this data below does just that. The data is the same, the overall pattern still shows the “low income clusters”, but the internal variations are more clear within the categories used. Our data products have a rich set of data to allow patterns like this to be revealed and underlying causes explored.
Here are the results for Tasmania, and a detailed view for Hobart.
Mount Lyell Copper Mine (7467) closed in 2014 following two fatal accidents, it was the major employer for Queenstown residents. Loss of jobs in the native timber sector have also occurred, concentrated in the north east. The east coast is a busy holiday destination and whilst not “wealthy” is mostly self reliant.
The impoverished body student again reliably revealed, and the dress circle well heeled suburb of Battery Point (7004) also clearly identified.