Who is the Australian business owner?

New figures* released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that over two million people either own or operate one or more businesses in Australia.

Of those two million, 67 per cent were men aged between 45 and 54, and the 33 per cent of female business owners were predominantly aged between 35 and 44.

Interestingly, it was also found that 80 per cent of men worked full time in their businesses, contrasting with just 40 per cent of women who worked full time in their business.

Karen Connaughton from the ABS said that since 2006-07, the average individual income for a business operator has increased from $799 per week to $999 per week in 2011-12.

“Based on 2011 Census findings, business operators are 96 per cent likely to run a small business, employ between 1 to 19 staff, and are educated to Year 12 or equivalent, ” Connaughton said.

Other key findings included:

  • Over 70 per cent of business owners and operators were born in Australia;
  • Of those not born in Australia, the most common period of arrival was in between 1981 and 1990;
  • Family operated businesses accounted for 87 per cent of businesses, and 42 per cent of these had dependants;
  • Approximately 40 per cent of business operators were also caring for a child, or children.

*The Counts of Australian Business Operators, 2011-12 publication collects information on small business operators including income, educational level, family status, region of birth and regional geographic status.

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