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One person or a group of related persons within a household, whose command over income is shared, or any person living in a non-private dwelling who is in receipt of personal income. Income units are restricted to relationships of marriage (registered or de facto) and of parent/dependent child who usually resides in the same household. This means that an income unit can be defined as:

  • a married couple or sole parent, and dependent children only; or
  • a married couple only with no dependent children present; or
  • a person who is not related to any other household member either by marriage or by the parent/dependent child relationship.


This is the standard statistical unit for analyses of economic well being, and in the community services context is an important measure in assessing the needs and circumstances of individuals and families.


Australian Bureau of Statistics 1995. A Provisional Framework for Household Income, Consumption, Saving and Wealth. Cat No. 6549.0. Canberra: ABS.


It should be noted that the reference to 'dependent child' in this context is guided by the following definition, 'a dependent child is any person aged under 15 years, or person aged 15 to 24 years who is a full-time student and lives with a parent(s), guardian or other relative and who does not have a spouse or offspring of the person living in the same location'.


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