Bigger waistlines bring home bigger pay cheques: Report

The university’s annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey found that overweight men take home the largest pay packets with an average income of approximately $51,000 each year.


The figure is 32 per cent more than the average annual wage for men deemed underweight, whose pay packet comes in at $38,596, and is above the $48,806 average for men of “normal weight”.

The survey – which has involved the same group of approximately 17,000 Australians since 2001 – also found that women of normal weight made the most among their gender at $49,292, more than their male counterparts.

Other data surrounding weight and health showed that:

Highly educated people are less likely to be overweight.Higher income women are no more likely to be overweight.Men and women also put on weight if they lose their job, though a downturn in finances leads to weight loss.Increase in female breadwinners

When examining incomes, the survey also found that the number of female breadwinners was increasing.

Though men remain the dominant wage earner in the majority of households, the data shows an increase in the proportion of partnered women who earn more than their partner, rising from 23.5 per cent in 2000 to 24.5 per cent in 2011.

The wealthier women tend to be older and in longer relationships, as well as holding a university education.

Data also showed an increase in the average retirement age for men, up from 59.8 years old prior to 2003 to 62.6 years.

The retirement age for women also increased from 57.7 to 59.7 years over the same period.

Figures on income in retirement showed that the majority of older Australians relied on benefits as their primary source of income, though the percentage had fallen in recent years.

Currently 63.5 per cent of retirees rely on government benefits as their main source of income.