Society - Well-being measures 2021
LGBT+: people whose gender is different from their sex recorded at birth (transgender, or another gender/non-binary), OR report a sexual identity other than heterosexual (gay or lesbian, bisexual, or another sexual identity).
WGSS: the Washington Group Short Set (WGSS) of questions on disability asked respondents about difficulties they have doing certain activities: seeing (even with glasses), hearing (even with hearing aids), walking or climbing stairs, remembering or concentrating, self-care, and communicating.
WGESS: the Washington Group Enhanced Short Set of questions contains additional questions on upper body functioning, fine motor skills, and experience of anxiety or depression. These questions identify a broader group of disabled people.
The data collected is representative of the total New Zealand population (aged 15 years and over) and is of good quality. However, some caution should be taken when making comparisons with previous years, and between different groups.
To align better with the truncated collection period, and to better reflect the timeframe that the GSS 2021 results cover, the reference period was set as at September 2021.
Typically, GSS sample survey results would be weighted to represent the total population in New Zealand at the end of the survey period, that is the mean year ended March population estimates (the average population over the year based on the estimated resident population at the end of each quarter).
As data for the GSS 2021 was not collected over the expected 12-month period, this weighting was based on mean year ended September 2021 population estimates instead of the year ended March 2022. This change in reference period has minimal impact on the estimates but was applied to better match the data to the population in New Zealand at the time it was collected.
Impacts of shortened data collection on 2021 wellbeing statistics has more information about these impacts.
For more information
Limitations of the data
Data with high sampling errors should be used with caution. Estimates with high relative sampling errors (RSEs) between 50 and 100 percent are considered unreliable for most uses.
The data collection began on 1 April 2021, a year after the first COVID-19 lockdown, and finished early, on 17 August 2021, due to the first community outbreak of the Delta variant. The survey was unable to go back into the field.
The reduced collection period for GSS 2021 resulted in a smaller sample size compared with previous GSS collections, and the sampling errors on the estimates produced were larger. The response rate for the sample from April through to the end of August was 75.9 percent.
For more information: https://www.stats.govt.nz/methods/impacts-of-shortened-data-collection-on-2021-wellbeing-statistics
Changes to data collection/processing
Some questions have been changed or expanded in this GSS. These include:
- Sex at birth and Gender
The previous two GSSs included the Washington Group Short Set (WGSS) of questions on disability, which asked respondents about difficulties they have doing certain activities: seeing (even with glasses), hearing (even with hearing aids), walking or climbing stairs, remembering or concentrating, self-care, and communicating. The Washington Group Enhanced Short Set of questions has been included in this GSS, which contains additional questions on upper body functioning, fine motor skills, and experience of anxiety or depression. These questions identify a broader group of disabled people than in previous data collections.
In previous GSS collections, Stats NZ asked respondents whether they were male or female. This was ambiguous, as it was not clear whether this meant gender or sex at birth, and did not allow non-binary and trans individuals to be counted in the data. The 2021 GSS includes questions on sex at birth (male, female, another term, or prefer not to say) and gender (male, female, or another gender), replacing the previously used question.
Data provided by
New Zealand General Social Survey: Well-being statistics 2021
How to find the data
Under Downloads, select 'Wellbeing statistics: 2021 – CSV'
Import & extraction details
File as imported: New Zealand General Social Survey: Well-being statistics 2021
From the dataset New Zealand General Social Survey: Well-being statistics 2021, this data was extracted:
- Rows: 2-14,223
- Columns: 7-8
- Provided: 25,324 data points
Dataset originally released on:
July 05, 2022
Purpose of collection
The New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS) produces statistics about social well-being to inform decision-making by government agencies and the wider community. Data gathered includes objective information about circumstance, such as labour force status and income, as well as a personal assessment of different aspects of New Zealander's lives, such as life satisfaction, health, housing, human rights, and relationships. In particular, the survey provides a view of how well-being outcomes vary across different groups within the population.
Method of collection/Data provider
Stats NZ use household and personal questionnaires to collect the data. One individual in the household completes the household questionnaire, which collects information about all the usually resident people in that household (eg family relationships and household income). Stats NZ randomly select one individual in the household aged 15 years or over to answer the personal questionnaire.
GSS 2021 has a reduced sample size of 3,484 person responses, this compares with approximately 8,000-8,500 for a normal 12-month collection.