Income

Satisfaction with income

Many aspects of day-to-day life can influence people’s overall satisfaction with life, and their subjective wellbeing [9]. 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) [13].

In 2017 and 2018, the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey asked respondents a group of questions about aspects of their day-to-day life, including 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.

The figure shows, that for greater Christchurch, the proportion of respondents satisfied or very satisfied with their household income (i.e., that it meets their everyday needs) did not change between 2017 (67.3%) and 2018 (67.4%). No New Zealand comparison is available for this indicator.

The figure shows that similar proportions of respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their household income across the three Territorial Authorities, in 2018 (Christchurch City 67.5%; Selwyn District, 71.0%; and Waimakariri District, 63.6%). These proportions were essentially unchanged from 2017.

The figure shows respondents’ satisfaction with their household income, by ethnicity. In 2017, European respondents’ satisfaction with income (70.6%) was statistically significantly higher than Māori respondents’ satisfaction with income (59.0%) and both groups’ satisfaction with income was statistically significantly higher than that indicated by Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents (40.6%). In the current result (2018), some convergence between the groups can be seen, compared with 2017. In 2018, the proportion indicating that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their household income was unchanged for European respondents but had increased slightly for Māori and Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents (67.7%, 61.6%, and 51.0%, respectively). European respondents’ satisfaction with income remained statistically significantly higher than Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents’ satisfaction in 2018, but not significantly higher than Māori respondents’ satisfaction.

The figure shows a pattern of generally similar satisfaction with income across the age groups, in 2018 (there were no statistically significant differences between the groups). In 2017 the 18 to 24 years and the 65+ years age groups had generally higher proportions satisfied or very satisfied, with both groups having a statistically significantly higher proportion than the 35 to 49 years and 50 to 64 years age groups.

The figure shows a pattern of similar levels of satisfaction with household income (proportion satisfied or very satisfied that their household income meets their everyday needs) for female respondents and male respondents, for the years 2017 and 2018.

The figure clearly shows the underlying relationship between respondents’ satisfaction with household income and level of household income, across the four income bands <$30,000; $30,000–$60,000; $60,000–$100,000; and $100,000+. A substantial and statistically significantly higher proportion of respondents from households earning $60,000+ indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their household income, compared with the lower income groups (67.4%, $60,000–$100,000 and 82.6%, $100,000+ groups in 2018, compared with 45.4%, <$30,000 and 52.8%, $30,000–$60,000 groups). The pattern is similar in 2017. In both 2017 and 2018, fewer than half of the respondents from the <$30,000 income group indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their household income.

The figure shows that in both 2017 and 2018 a smaller proportion of respondents with a disability or long-term health condition reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their household income, compared with those without a disability or long-term health condition (54.3% and 70.3%, 2017; 52.3% and 71.3%, 2018). The difference between the groups is statistically significant for both years.

Data Sources

Source: Canterbury District Health Board.
Survey/data set: Canterbury Wellbeing Survey, 2018. Access publicly available data from the Community and Public Health (Canterbury DHB) website www.cph.co.nz/your-health/wellbeing-survey/
Source data frequency: Annually.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 06/11/2018