New Zealand households whose income does not meet everyday needs

By household income quintile, year ended June 2017, thousands of households


Material standard of living is defined as the things that money can buy, and so does not represent the capacity to enjoy life, or the state of health.
One usually resident member of the household aged 18 years or over was randomly selected to respond to survey questions about their material standard of living.
The material well-being index (MWI) should not be compared over time.
Income is before tax, from regular and recurring sources only. Income figures are collected for people aged 15 years or over. Income groups are quintiles (to the nearest hundred dollars) of household income.

Adequacy of income to meet everyday needs: This refers to the income of an individual, or a couple's combined income where the couple live in the same household.

Household counts in columns are rounded to the nearest hundred. Figures may not sum to stated totals, due to rounding.


Household: is either one person who usually resides alone, or two or more people who usually reside together and share facilities (such as for eating or cooking) in a private dwelling. A household may contain one or more families, other people in addition to a family, or no families at all, such as unrelated people living together.
Housing-costs-to-household-income ratio: is the aggregate housing costs for all households as a proportion of the aggregate household income for all households. This measure is often used as an indicator of housing affordability. However, it is typically calculated by using disposable household income (gross income minus income tax) instead of before-tax (gross) income. Only gross income is reported in this release. This means that the housing costs to (gross) household income ratios may be slightly lower than ratios reported from other data sources. This measure includes households that do not make mortgage or rent payments.
Total housing costs: consists of expenditure from the following sources: mortgage principal repayments, mortgage interest payments, mortgage application fees, rent payments, other payments associated with renting (for example bonds paid in the last 12 months), property rates payments (both regional and local government), and payments associated with building related insurance.

Data calculation/treatment

This is the corrected release as at 8 December 2017.

For more information

Limitations of the data

Two types of error are possible in estimates based on a sample survey: sampling error and non-sampling error. The sample size for this survey is approximately 5,000 households, therefore the error for subnational estimates may be significant.


The target population for HES (Income) is the usually resident population of New Zealand living in private dwellings, aged 15 years and over. This population does not include:
- overseas visitors who are in New Zealand for less than 12 months
- people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, motels, boarding houses, hostels, and homes for the elderly
- patients in hospitals, or residents of psychiatric or penal institutions
- members of the permanent armed forces in group living facilities; for example, barracks
- people living on offshore islands (excluding Waiheke Island)
- members of the non-New Zealand armed forces
- non-New Zealand diplomats and their families.

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

Household Economic Survey: Income (corrected), Year ended June 2017


How to find the data

At URL provided, select "Household Economic Survey (Income): Year ended June 2015 – tables" from the box at the right-hand side of the page.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Household Economic Survey: Income (corrected), Year ended June 2017

From the dataset Household Economic Survey: Income (corrected), Year ended June 2017, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: Table 8
  • Range: C11:M23
  • Provided: 54 data points

This data forms the table Income - Rating of material standard of living by household income quintile 2017.

Dataset originally released on:

December 08, 2017

Purpose of collection

The three main objectives of HES (Income) are to measure patterns of inequality in household income (used for policy-making decisions); measure people’s life satisfaction, housing conditions, and financial stress; provide an indication of the overall living standards of New Zealanders.

Method of collection/Data provider

HES (Income) has a sample size of approximately 5,000 private permanent households.