Survey: More women main income-earner than ever before

Roy Morgan looked at gender parity in the workforce for this year's International Women's Day, finding that more women than ever are the main family income-earner. 

Key findings: 

  • In 2006, 39 per cent of Australian women were the main income earner, while 73 per cent of men were
  • In 2016, 52 per cent of women state they are the main income earner, while men's has gone up one per cent to 74 per cent
  • Thirty-three per cent of those who live with a partner and at least one child self-identify this way
  • Ninety-five per cent of women in single-parent households are the main income earner, up from 91 per cent in 2006
  • Within the partnered men population, who consider themselves to be the main income earner, little has changed since 2006
  • Eighty-five per cent of men who live with their partner but no kids say they are the main income earner, compared to 82 per cent of men in 2006, plus 86 per cent of men who live with their partner and kids, which is up from 85 per cent
  • Out of those who reported they were single fathers, 91 per cent are the main income-earner
  • When couples live together without children, interestingly, the proportion of men and women who believe they are the main income-earner adds up to over 100 per cent, meaning both parties in some of these arrangements consider themselves the main income-earner


Fuel for change
A key factor in the changes we're seeing is that the average income earned by full-time women workers has increased from $51,000 to $73,500 over the past 10 years. The pay gap is slowly closing, with the gap in 2006 being 27 per cent, but this year's gap being 16 per cent lower than their male counterparts. 

The number of Australian men in full-time employment also dropped over this decade from 54 per cent to 46 per cent, however full-time women remained steady at 25 per cent. 

View the report