Gender wealth gap down to 11%: Roy Morgan

The average net wealth gap between men and women has almost halved in the last 12 years, according to the latest Roy Morgan Wealth Report.

Statistics from the report show the average net wealth for women today sits at 89% that of men - $400,000, to men's $449,000.

This is compared to the 20% gap in 2007 ahead of the GFC when net wealth for women was $236,000, 80% of the $296,000 for men.

Over the same period the average net wealth per capita of Australians has increased by 59.7% - or 23.8% after accounting for inflation - from $285,600 to $424,200.

The report attributed this gain to the steeper increase in per capita wealth for women compared to men, with their data showing the average woman experienced a 69% increase, while men had a lower increase of only 52% (from $296,000 to $449,000).

"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," Roy Morgan said.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said the report looked more at the holistic view of each gender's average financial position, rather than income and superannuation inequality, where much public comment is focused on.

"Net wealth has been used here as a more relevant single measure of economic circumstances incorporating all assets, including superannuation and subtracting debt," she said.

According to data from Industry Super Australia, Australia's gender pay gap has remained at between 15% and 19% for two decades. This pay gap translates to a superannuation gap of nearly 47% less for women, who retire with $90,000 less than men.

Levine said another major contributing factor in closing the gender wealth gap appears to be increased female participation in the workforce, which has gone from 56.4% in 2007 to 61.9% in 2019.

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business estimates that growth in female employment is likely to continue outpacing that of male employment, driven by strong increases in female full-time employment.

She added: "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 over half a million face-to-face interviews conducted from 2007 to 2019.

Read more: Roy Morgan Wealth ReportIndustry Super AustraliaMichele Levine
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