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The Cost of Kids: the cost of raising children in Australia - May 2013

In terms of love, hope, time and effort, raising children can be the greatest investment people make.

But what about money? What does it cost a family to raise children in Australia today?
The answer to this question is important not only for existing and prospective parents, but also for governments, as they design policies and payments to assist families with children.

In the 33rd AMP.NATSEM report we look at the cost of raising Australian children and finds that it costs a typical middle income family $812,000 to raise two children from birth until they leave home. This is up from $537,000 in 2007 when we last looked at the cost of raising children.

Since the 2007 report, the economy has navigated well through a global financial crisis with household income growing by a healthy 25 per cent. For many families however, certain child related costs such as child care and education have increased substantially and the perception is that the cost of living has also grown significantly. In this report we evaluate what parents are spending on their children and where the biggest expenses occur across a number of family types.

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Prices these days! The cost of living in Australia - May 2012

In recent times, hours of air time have been devoted to the cost of living and how it affects us as individuals and families. It's a subject that's important to almost all of us, which is why media stories considering the price of everyday items like electricity, petrol and food and their impact on the family budget appear so frequently.

Every year the perception seems to be that it gets harder to afford the basics. But are prices really outpacing our incomes? While some prices such as electricity and petrol have certainly shot up in recent years, many other prices have fallen such as televisions or clothing. Could it be that we're placing greater expectations on ourselves and what our standard of living should be?

The latest AMP.NATSEM report Prices these days! explores how the cost of living has changed since 1984. The report reveals that overall the average family is ahead by $224 per week and the benefits have spread to both high and low income families. Low income households are ahead by $93 a week since 1984 while high income households are $429 per week better off.

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Race against time - How Australians spend their time - January 2012

Australians are known as hard workers and our reputation for being willing to roll our sleeves up and get the job done has seen many welcomed into workplaces all over the world. But we are also laid back, enjoying our downtime and there is no shortage of things to do when we get the chance.
But the balance has been thrown out in recent times with Australians under pressure to fit more and more into their busy lives. Many are left lamenting that there "aren't enough hours in the day" to get everything done. And even worse, there isn't much time to really relax.

So where does all our time go? And are we really working more and playing less?

The latest AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth report Race against time throws some light on the subject of time use in Australia, exploring how competing commitments impact on time spent on work, family, social, recreational and community activities, and the shift in this balance over the years.If you're 50 years of age or over, getting serious about your super, spending time with the grandkids and traveling this summer without breaking the bank, then this could be the publication for you. Inside you'll find some great tips on long term investing in a volatile market, how to plan for retirement and leaving the best legacy for your loved ones.

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The Great Australian Dream - Just a Dream? - July 2011

The great Australian dream for many individuals and families is to purchase their very own piece of Australia.

As our nation grew and prospered through the second half of the 20th century, this dream became a reality for many young families. Land was cheap, housing was cheap and most of us could afford to buy our very own home.

Something changed last decade. House prices, not only in Australia, but globally, soared and put the great Australian dream in doubt. Rising prices are seen as a boon for those who already have their own home, but a nightmare for those attempting to get into the market. The Australian property market truly is a tale of the housing haves and the housing have-nots. Typically, the "haves" purchased their home many years ago when prices were more favourable. They have since experienced windfall gains through the growth in the price of their properties. The "have-nots" are typically renters, the young (often First Home Buyers), lone persons and single parents. These are the groups facing the highest rates of housing stress and the greatest affordability constraints.

The results of this report relate most strongly to those people at the lower rung of the housing market who either recently purchased or are saving for their first home, rather than existing home owners.

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Little Australians - April 2011

Children are undoubtedly a parent's pride and joy, but they're also destined to be the pride of the nation. Even though our 4-5 year old Australians are a long way off making meaningful contributions to our country, they will one day be our political and business leaders, our doctors and nurses, teachers and entrepreneurs, shaping the future direction of our country.

We all know that a child's early experiences can have a huge impact on their development and success later in life; so what might be the greatest influences? Do girls really outperform the boys right from the start? Do city kids do better than country kids? Does a family's financial stability affect a child's development? Does reading to your children each night really seem to have any impact?

The 28th AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Little Australians, explores the differences in the development of Australians aged 4-5 and what patterns we can see in their development. It examines overall development as well as three specific development domains: physical health; social and emotional functioning; and learning and cognitive development.

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Calling Australia Home - November 2010

Australia is one of the most multicultural nations in the world. Migrants have come here in search of a better life, and in doing so, have fundamentally shaped our culture and our economy.

We are a nation of migrants - a quarter of Australia's population was born overseas, one of the highest proportions among all OECD countries. And in 2008 alone it accounted for 65 per cent of our population growth.

So who exactly is a migrant? Where do our migrants come from? How have they contributed to the economic growth of the country? Are many of us, in some way, migrants and what role will migration play in the future?

This issue of the AMP.NATSEM report, Calling Australia Home, explores the characteristics and contributions of Australia's overseas born population, examining aspects of the migrant experience including education, work, wealth and wellbeing.

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The pursuit of happiness - August 2010

Australians are among the most satisfied people in the world with almost 90 per cent very satisfied or satisfied with their lives, despite having to work harder to juggle family, job and financial pressures, according to the latest AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report.

Australia ranks equal third with the United States and Sweden in overall life satisfaction among OECD countries, with an average score of 7.9 out of 10, beaten only by Ireland, Norway and Denmark (equal first) and Finland and Canada (equal second).

The AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report: The pursuit of happiness explores life satisfaction trends in Australia, examining how different aspects of people's lives impact on happiness.

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Saving Tomorrow - April 2010

Increasing the compulsory Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to 12 per cent would add up to $150,000 to a young person's retirement savings by age 65 and substantially improve Australia's low savings levels, according to new research.

The 25th AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report: Saving Tomorrow shows most people are not saving enough for a comfortable retirement and saving levels remain low, with the average Australian saving just $300 per year, equating to less than $6 a week after tax.

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Don't stop thinking about tomorrow - November 2009

The 24th AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Don't stop thinking about tomorrow,considers how realistic present retirement expectations are given levels of retirement savings. It considers the impact that increasing future superannuation contributions would have and whether increased superannuation will rescue baby boomer women from the poverty that appears likely to await many of them.

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Healthy, wealthy and wise? - July 2009

The 23rd AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report examines how health underpins the employment and earnings of working-age Australians (25-64 years). Specifically, it examines the extent to which poor health diminishes employment and income levels of working-age men and women.

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She works hard for the money - April 2008

The 22nd AMP.NATSEM report focuses on women today and how their social and economic status has changed and evolved over time, and what differences can be seen between them and their male counterparts.

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What price the clever country? - November 2008

The 21st AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report focuses on Australian tertiary students today, who they are, how they meet the costs of living while they study and how their HECS debts get repaid.

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Advance Australia fair? - July 2008

The 20th AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report looks at trends in income, unemployment and immigration for different geographic regions of Australia, rather than individual Australians - drawing on Census data from 2001 and 2006.

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Wherever I lay my debt, that's my home - March 2008

The 19th AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report looks at housing affordability in Australia, the number of home owners and renters experiencing housing stress and at how each generation is faring.

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Honey I calculated the kids? it's $537,000 - December 2007

The 18th AMP.NATSEM The Income and Wealth Report draws on an extensive range of statistical information to provide an insight into the cost of raising children from birth until leaving home for three typical families in low, middle and high income brackets.

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Generation whY - August 2007

A lot has been said about Gen Y - the term typically used for those born between 1976 and 1991. They have been described as frivolous, called the 'me generation', labelled as spoilt and over protected - as an ambitious generation, constantly in search of instant gratification, but not expecting to work hard for it.

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Baby boomers - doing it for themselves - March 2007

History, some might say, has been kind to the baby boomers. They have enjoyed affordable housing, access to free education, often generous welfare benefits and frequently favourable employment markets.

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Tomorrow's consumers - December 2006

In this 15th AMP.NATSEM Report, we make an attempt to look forward at what will continue to be top of mind for most consumers - spending money.

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Trends in effective marginal tax rates - September 2006

Governments face a delicate balancing act in setting means-tested taxation programs. They must balance offering financial help to the people who need it most against the need to ensure that this financial help does not discourage these people from working, or penalise them for doing so.

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The cost of caring in Australia - May 2006

For many people, there are probably periods during their lives when they feel relatively unburdened and are able to concentrate on building their careers, having fun and accumulating assets. Such periods may include the earlier years in the life course, before children and all their associated financial responsibilities arrive, and also the "empty nester" period, when adult children have finally left home, health is often still good and there is more cash around to spend on life's little luxuries.

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May the labour force be with you - November 2005

Over the last couple of decades the Australian labour force has grown significantly, with 3.2 million more people in the labour force today than in 1985. This increase has outstripped the working-age population growth and thus produced a larger share of people participating in the labour force. Within this overall growth, the proportion of women in the paid labour force has increased dramatically.

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There's no business like small business - July 2005

Of all the private sector businesses in Australia, 96 per cent are small businesses with fewer than 20 employees and around two in every five private sector workers are employed in a small business. Small business is the engine room of a well-tuned economy.

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Love can hurt, divorce will cost - April 2005

Divorce has a major impact on the lives of everyone involved - the husband, the wife and any children. This impact can have serious emotional and psychological consequences, especially on children. In this issue of the AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, we examine how couples are financially impacted by divorce.

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Household debt in Australia - walking the tightrope - November 2004

During the past 20 years we have been getting ourselves into more and more debt. Aided by spiralling property prices, the proliferation of credit cards with frequent flyer points and rewards programs and our appetite for DIY renovations, home theatre systems and new cars, in 2002 our combined debt was an estimated $431 billion.

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Trends in spatial income inequality, 1996 to 2001 - September 2004

Many of us empathise with the line in Midnight Oil's song, 'Read about it', where, 'The rich get richer, the poor get the picture'. Surveys reveal that Australian's believe the gap between rich and poor is growing. But is this just a perception or is it based on fact?

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Lump Sum: here today gone tomorrow - March 2004

A quarter of the 15 million adult Australians are aged between 50 and 69. Most people think they are living the good life - married, homeowners, full-time employees earning good incomes, with kids out of the home. They can choose what they'd like to do when they retire. But is this the true picture? The report shows the answer to be a resounding no!.

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Generation Xcluded - November 2003

The changing economic environment has created a divide between the post-1946 baby boomers and Generation X born between 1961 and 1976. The boomers enjoyed cheap housing, free education, generous welfare and plenty of jobs. Gen Xers have battled huge increases in the cost of housing and tertiary education, plus job insecurity and reduced welfare benefits.

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You can't rely on the old folks' money - June 2003

The fifth AMP.NATSEM report, Wealth and Inheritance examines the factors influencing the distribution of wealth between generations. It shows that, while the parents of baby boomers have increasing wealth, it does not necessarily follow that this wealth will fall into the boomers' laps.

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Does your wealth depend on good health? - March 2003

There's a well known saying that the only things we can be certain of are death and taxes. For around half of all Australians aged over 30, they can also be sure to suffer from at least one of the seven Priority conditions that can lead to long-term disability and, consequently, a long-term loss of income.

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All they need is love... and about $450,000 - the cost of children in Australia today - October 2002

The idea that buying a house is the biggest investment most people are likely to make does not take into account the investment Australian parents make in raising their children.

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Live long and prosper? the income and wealth of those about to retire - June 2002

This AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth report examines the income and wealth of people aged between 50 and 64 - who are not retired, preparing for retirement or living in denial.

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Trends in taxable income - February 2002

Over the five years to 1999, the average taxable income of Australian taxpayers has risen by almost 20 per cent, with taxpayers in the ACT (26.3 per cent), NSW (20.4 per cent) and Victoria (18.5 per cent) showing the highest increases across the nation.

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