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].

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 2019.

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 2019 (67.3% and 69.5% respectively, at these two time-points).

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, from 2017 to 2019 (Christchurch City 69.6%, Selwyn District 71.7%, and Waimakariri District 67.1%, in 2019).

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%) and both groups’ satisfaction with income was statistically significantly higher than that indicated by Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents (40.6%). The 2019 results show some convergence between the groups, compared with 2017. In 2019, the proportion indicating that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their household income was essentially unchanged for European respondents and Māori respondents but had increased slightly for Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents (71.5%, 61.5%, and 53.9%, respectively). European respondents’ satisfaction with income was statistically significantly higher than both Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents’ satisfaction and Māori respondents’ satisfaction in 2019.

The figure shows a pattern of generally similar satisfaction with income across the age groups for the period 2017 to 2019. In 2018, there were no statistically significant differences between the groups. However, in 2019 the proportion of the 18 to 24 years group satisfied or very satisfied with household income has fallen to be statistically significantly lower than the proportion for the 75+ years age group (63.9% and 76.8% respectively, in 2019).

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 to 2019.

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 (88.5% for $100,000+ group in 2019, compared with 40.3% for <$30,000; 58.2% for $30,001–$60,000; and 65.4% for $60,001–$100,000 groups). At all three time-points, 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 from 2017 to 2019 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% in 2017; 52.3% and 71.3% in 2018; and 56.9% and 72.6% in 2019). The difference between the groups is statistically significant for all time-points.

Data Sources

Source: Canterbury District Health Board.
Survey/data set: Canterbury Wellbeing Survey to 2019. 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: 21/11/2019