Satisfaction with income
Many aspects of day-to-day life can influence people’s overall satisfaction with life, and their subjective wellbeing . One of the most important components of overall life satisfaction is satisfaction with income [9-13]. In general, individuals’ satisfaction with income is influenced by thinking about both their position in the income distribution (such as where their income sits in relation to others) as well as the size of any gap between their income and what they practically need (for day-to-day life essentials) and/or any wants and aspirations [10,11]. Past-comparison effects may also influence current satisfaction (such as people’s current income compared to their own ‘comparison’ income level, from some time in their past). Generally, the income-to-wellbeing association tends to be strongest for people earning below the median income and the association tends to plateau for people in the higher income ranges (such as the lower the household income, the more important small changes become for wellbeing) .
Since 2017, the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey has asked respondents how well their total household income meets their everyday needs (for things such as accommodation, food, clothing and other necessities).
This indicator presents the proportion of respondents who indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied that their household income meets their everyday needs, from 2017 to 2020.
The figure shows, that for greater Christchurch, the proportion of respondents satisfied or very satisfied with their household income (that it meets their everyday needs) has remained relatively constant over the period 2017 to 2020 (67.3% and 67.8% respectively, at these two time-points).
The figure shows respondents’ satisfaction with their household income, by ethnicity. The proportion indicating that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their household income was essentially unchanged for European respondents between 2017 and 2020. European respondents’ satisfaction with income was statistically significantly higher than both Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents’ satisfaction and Māori respondents’ satisfaction in 2017, 2019 and 2020. The 2020 results show convergence between Māori (57.8%) and Pacific/Asian/Indian (56.9%) respondents.
The figure shows a pattern of generally similar satisfaction with income across the age groups for the period 2017 to 2020. In 2018, there were no statistically significant differences between the groups. However, in 2020 the proportion of the 18 to 24 years group satisfied or very satisfied with their household income (59.2%) has fallen to be statistically significantly lower than the proportion for the 50 to 64 years (71.8%), 65 to 74 years (75.7%), and 75+ years (76.5%) age groups. Similarly, the proportion of the 25 to 34 years age group satisfied or very satisfied with their household income (64.3%) has fallen to be statistically significantly lower than the proportion for the 65 to 74 years and 75+ years age groups in 2020.
The figure clearly shows the underlying relationship between respondents’ satisfaction with household income and level of household income, across the four income bands. A substantial and statistically significantly higher proportion of respondents from households earning $100,000+ indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their household income, compared with the lower income groups (88.0% for $100,000+ group in 2020, compared with 37.4% for <$30,000; 56.8% for $30,000–$60,000; and 67.4% for $60,001–$100,000 groups). Between 2017 and 2020, there was a statistically significant 11.6 percentage point decrease in satisfaction with household income for respondents in the <$30,000 income group (from 49.0% in 2017 to 37.4% in 2020).
The figure shows that from 2017 to 2020 a statistically significantly smaller proportion of younger respondents with a disability or long-term health condition (aged under 65 years) reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their household income, compared with those without a disability or long-term health condition (48.1% and 70.9% in 2020, respectively). There was no difference for older respondents with a long-term health condition or disability (70.9% satisfied or very satisfied).
Source: Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury - formerly the Canterbury District Health Board.
Survey/data set: Canterbury Wellbeing Survey to 2020. Access publicly available data from the Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health website www.cph.co.nz/your-health/wellbeing-survey/
Source data frequency: Annually.