The wealth gap between the ACT and the rest of Australia is becoming more stark, with wages per person heading towards double the national average and nation-leading levels of disposable income.
The Australian Local Government Association's 2019 State of the Regions report found growing inequality between regional Australia and metropolitan areas, with those on the urban fringe being at increasing disadvantage.
But it also showed the ACT was ahead of the pack in terms of wealth.
Wages per capita in the ACT have grown to $57,993 in the ACT, higher than Sydney's metropolitan core ($53,735), Darwin ($51,845) or the Pilbara in Western Australia ($51,845).
Wages per person were also tracking to be nearly double the Australian average ($31,022) in contrast with regions like the NSW south coast, which had the second lowest wages per capita ($18,205). In the Southern Tablelands, wages per person were $30,526.
But pay packets have also risen sharply over the past two decades. In 2001, wages per capita in the ACT were $35,645.
The territory also topped the nation in disposable income, with $88,868 per capita. Disposable income per household was $238,000.
Growth in disposable income has been rapid, rising from $35,645 per person in 2001 to $50,821 in 2011.
It also far outstripped the national disposable income, which was $47,168 per capita, and $129,000 per household.
However disposable income declined in 43 of the 67 regions tracked, most rapidly in the inland agricultural and pastoral regions of NSW.
In the Southern Tablelands, disposable income per person was $48,505 and $39,618 on the South Coast.
The ACT's high ranking was the result of "high wages, higher property incomes than most regions and merely average interest payments", the report said.
The territory had the lowest household debt to gross income ratio (minus income tax) at 0.84. At the other end of the scale, the ratio in Melbourne city was 2.14 and 1.89 on the Gold Coast.
The ACT also had the highest level of property income per capita at $26,049, more than doubling over the past 15 years.
It was well above the next highest, metropolitan Sydney which had property income of $13,282 per person and far outstripped the Australian income per capita of $6990.
Dr Peter Brain of the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research said the ACT was doing very well.
"You're very wealthy, you've got the best housing affordability in the country. Rents may well be higher than Sydney and Melbourne but they should be higher, because you've got higher real incomes," Dr Brain said.
The report also noted "though known for mining, the ACT had benefited during the boom and suffered as it subsided", with hourly earnings going down by 4 per cent a year.
Dr Brain said governments tended to spend more during mining booms as government revenues were above trend.
"Canberra, which is relatively heavily dependent on the size of the federal government cheque book benefits especially," Dr Brain said.
"That means the ACT's economic profile is procyclical - it goes up in the boom and flattens out in the downturn."
The territory also had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 5.1 per cent - well below the Australia-wide rate of 7.2 per cent.
Canberra had the highest per capita expenditures on new residential construction of the metro regions at $4766, ahead of Melbourne metro ($4052) and Sydney metro ($3995).
Median dwelling prices were $574,713 (up from $287,265 in 2001).
The territory was ahead of the NSW Southern Tablelands ($522,673) and the NSW South Coast ($504,899) on dwelling prices but well behind areas like metropolitan Sydney ($1.2 million).