We examine trends in consumption inequality among Australian households using the Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Expenditure Surveys collected over the period 1975 to 1993. We find that the distribution of consumption is much more equal than that of income and that both income and consumption inequality rose by significant amounts over the period. However, consumption inequality rose by much less (the Gini coefficient for income inequality rose by 17 percent while that for nondurable consumption rose by 9 percent). We then examine the effects of demographic trends, specifically population aging and changing family structures, and find they account for only a minor fraction in the overall growth in economic inequality.

Review of Income and Wealth
Department of Economics

Barrett, G.F. (Garry F.), Crossley, T.F. (Thomas F.), & Worswick, C. (2000). Demographic trends and consumption inequality in Australia between 1975 and 1993. Review of Income and Wealth, 46(4), 437–456.