The expenditure classification used is the New Zealand Household Expenditure Classification (NZHEC).
All group level expenditure is reported as gross expenditure, and all expenditure includes GST.
Each statistic from this survey is based on a sample and is subject to a sampling error.
Household: a group of people who share a private dwelling and normally spend four or more nights a week in the household. They must share consumption of food, or contribute some portion of income towards essentials for living as a group.
Household income: before-tax (gross) income. Income is not equivalised. That is, it is not adjusted to remove the effects of household size or type (eg the number of dependent children).
Personal income: it represents the before-tax income of each household member aged 15 years and over in the twelve months ended 30 June.
The household economic survey (HES) is an annual survey designed to measure the economic wellbeing of New Zealanders. HES has three components: HES income, HES expenditure, and HES net worth.
- HES income is the main vehicle, and it is run every year. It includes household income, housing costs, and material wellbeing – this is ‘core’ HES.
- HES expenditure includes additional components – an expenditure diary and an expanded household expenditure questionnaire. It runs every three years.
- HES net worth includes additional questions on household assets and liabilities. It also runs every three years.
Purpose of collection
HES data is used to:
- indicate the overall living standards and well-being of New Zealanders
- advise on income inequality and poverty
- help with decisions such as how changes to tax thresholds affect different types of households.
Data from HES (Expenditure) also feeds into vital economic measures for the country, such as the consumers price index, household living-costs price indexes, and gross domestic product. Data from HES (Expenditure) is also used to measure child poverty.
Method of collection/Data provider
From the year ended June 2019, the sample size for the survey has been increased to 28,500 private households for collecting information on household income, housing costs and child poverty. The increase in sample size from 5,500 households in the previous years was done to reduce margins of error in the data, as well as provide data at sub-populations levels. A subsample of 5,500 households has been used to collect detailed expenditure information asked every three years. The sample size is boosted to 8,000 households during the HES (Saving) years.
Households selected for the survey are sampled from rural and urban areas throughout New Zealand on a statistically representative basis.