Family wellbeing across New Zealand, region by region

Regional data published by government research agency Superu shows how families are faring across each of the regions.

Superu’s Knowledge Director, Vasantha Krishnan, said the data paints a fascinating picture of family wellbeing in New Zealand.

“By and large, the regional data shows that New Zealand is a great place to live and raise a family, with most regions reporting high on our indicators for health, lack of discrimination, access to services, and feeling safe in their homes and neighbourhoods. There were some mixed results for employment, education, voluntary work and housing, with some clear trends emerging across the regions,” she said.

While most New Zealand regions were fairly similar, some unique pictures emerged. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Wellington family members were the most likely to have a post-secondary education (69.8% compared to 62.9% nationally), and also the most likely to have employment (83.4% vs. 80.4% nationally), first-equal only with Southland (83.5%).
  • Southland families were more likely to have affordable housing than any other region (86% vs. 67.3% nationally), and family members were more likely to be satisfied with their working hours and pay (65.4% vs. 59% nationally).
  • Auckland family members were the most likely to describe themselves as physically healthy (56% of respondents were above the median).
  • Canterbury families were the most likely to live in well-off areas (66.7% vs. 54.1% nationally).
  • Gisborne family members reported the highest prevalence in the country for voluntary work in the four weeks leading up to the 2013 Census (53.6% vs. 45.8% nationally) and for feeling safe at home (97.2% vs. 94.3% nationally); but they were also the least likely in the country to live in well-off neighbourhoods (29.2% vs. 54.1% nationally) or to report easy access to services (80.5% vs. 91.4% nationally).

This regional information is based on the data published in Superu’s 2016 Families & Whānau Status Report, which looked at the make-up and wellbeing of New Zealand families and whānau. The report drew on multiple datasets such as the Census, the General Social Survey, the Household Economic Survey, the Disability Survey and the Youth Survey.

“This is the first time that a picture of how families are faring has been provided at a broad regional level. It is important to understand family wellbeing, not just individual wellbeing. There may be sub-regional variations but the data does not enable us to gain those insights at this point.”

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Last update: 13 Feb 2017