A home in Ascot (left) and Caboolture, representing the income divide in Queensland.
A home in Ascot (left) and Caboolture, representing the income divide in Queensland.

Queensland’s richest and poorest suburbs revealed

Blue-chip Brisbane suburbs are home to the wealthiest workers in Queensland, with average annual incomes nudging $100,000.

A new Courier-Mail analysis of income data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the state's top earners live in Brisbane's inner-city suburb of Hawthorne, with an annual average income of $97,679.

They are closely followed by those in Fig Tree Pocket with annual incomes of $96,531 and Bulimba with $95,568.

Regional Queensland communities that are home to cashed-up resources sector workers made up six of the top 20 earning suburbs in the state, with Moranbah coming in fourth with an annual average income of $94,049.

Mackay Harbour was home to the state's 11th highest earners with $87,336 and Broadsound near Nebo at 13th with $85,305.

The mean income of Queenslanders, where the average worker is 38 years old, was $56,936 in the data collection year of 2016, $2623 below the Australian median of $59,559

The mean income for greater Brisbane residents, $59,841, was markedly higher than that of residents in regional Queensland where the average was $54,047.

Kowanyama has Queensland’s lowest median income.
Kowanyama has Queensland’s lowest median income.



Kowanyama, on the Gulf of Carpenteria, was home to the state's lowest income earners with an annual average income of $28,605.

Bundaberg was the second lowest with an annual average income of $31,712, followed by Gatton with $33,780, the far north Queensland community of Aurukun $34,553 and the Stanthorpe Region with $34,580.

But the state's lowest income earners weren't limited to regional Queensland with southeast suburbs including Logan Central, Richlands at Inala, Woodridge and Sunnybank in the bottom 20, all with incomes below $40,500 and well below the national average of $59,559.


Riverside mansions in Hawthorne, which has Queensland’s highest median income.
Riverside mansions in Hawthorne, which has Queensland’s highest median income.


Demographer Bernard Salt says suburbs such as Hawthorne haven't traditionally been associated with Brisbane's wealthiest.

"These are not the traditionally high income areas. That would be more like St Lucia and Hamilton and Ascot," he said.

"But the big houses in these suburbs are interspersed with townhouses and apartments, and people in those places tend to bring the average down."

Mr Salt says the wealthiest suburbs are more likely to attract upper middle class families and couples.

"They're close to the city, they've got space, they've got amenity and are within striking distance to the job market in Brisbane," he said.

"So, for that reason, it's particularly attractive to families and people in their 40s."

Mr Salt says central Queensland areas tend to have lower incomes because of a lack of access to employment opportunities and lower levels of education.

"These are often indigenous communities, so they struggle with employment opportunities in many cases, or are dominated by retirees," he said.

"These regional communities are delivering standard agricultural services, but there's often no business wealth."

Closer to the city - in places like Logan, Woodridge and Inala - Mr Salt says the low median income is often because of high levels of public housing.

"These would be the lowest median income places across metropolitan Brisbane, often places associated with public housing estates," he said.

"There are also often low levels of education and skills in those communities, and therefore high levels of unemployment."

To see where your suburb stacks up on the income rankings, check out the interactive map above.


Highest median income

1 Hawthorne 97,679

2 Fig Tree Pocket 96,531

3 Bulimba 95,568

4 Moranbah 94,049

5 Pinjarra Hills - Pullenvale 90,251

6 Bardon 89,067

7 Chelmer - Graceville 88,881

8 Ascot 88,556

9 Wilston 88,101

10 Brookfield - Kenmore Hills 87,613

11 Mackay Harbour 87,336

12 Grange 86,094

13 Broadsound - Nebo 85,305

14 Balmoral 85,270

15 Hendra 84,810

16 Clinton - New Auckland 83,881

17 Norman Park 83,159

18 Telina - Toolooa 83,141

19 Boyne Island - Tannum Sands 83,140

20 Hamilton (Qld) 83,133


Lowest median income

1 Kowanyama - Pormpuraaw 28,605

2 Bundaberg 31,712

3 Gatton 33,780

4 Aurukun 34,553

5 Stanthorpe 34,580

6 Gayndah - Mundubbera 34,917

7 Stanthorpe Region 35,047

8 Yarrabah 35,123

9 Torres Strait Islands 36,170

10 Logan Central 37,943

11 Port Douglas 38,424

12 Cape York 38,662

13 Cooloola 38,784

14 Inala - Richlands 39,023

15 Woodridge 39,045

16 Innisfail 39,116

17 Northern Peninsula 40,294

18 Sunnybank 40,430

19 Tully 40,581

20 Tablelands 40,603