KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Average monthly household income rose from RM5,000 in 2012 to RM6,141 in 2014, the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) revealed in a report today.
The report titled “The State of Households (SOH II)” focused on three topics: household and food, women in the workforce, and population ageing.
“In general, we see that households are better off as the year also saw a higher median household income from RM3,626 in 2012 to RM4,585 in 2014,” KRI managing director Datuk Charon Mokhzani said.
Charon noted, however, that there were disparities in income levels based on location, with states such as Kelantan and Perak 84.8 per cent and 81.1 per cent earning below the national average.
Cities and urban areas were also more likely to have households reporting above average incomes, with 64.4 per cent in Kuala Lumpur and 62.9 per cent in Putrajaya taking home more than RM6,141 every month.
“Disparities in wealth that are measured by EPF and ASB (Amanah Saham) savings are also more pronounced and there is concern that many will not have saved enough for their retirement years,” he said.
This could be exacerbated by another finding in the report, which showed that average life expectancy was now 77.4 years on average for women and 72.5 years for men, up from 65.5 and 61.6 respectively for both genders in 1970.
On unemployment, he said there was also an above-average concentration among young Malaysians.
“Youth unemployment rate stood at 3.5 per cent, compared to the national unemployment rate of 3.1 per cent in 2015,” Charon said.
He declined to forecast, however, the direction of household income for this year following a continued global economic slowdown.
Moving forward, Charon said changes should be made to ensure that Malaysians are financially sufficient. These included redefining the current retirement age, strengthening preventive health measures and balancing assistance between the needs of elderly and the youth.
“Both, the elderly and youth need assistance so the government will need to be fair to both parties,” Charon said.