Being able to express ‘who they are’ is important for people’s sense of self and overall wellbeing. A society which is inclusive of differences is desirable as it enables members to participate fully in life, and gives them a sense of belonging and security .
This indicator presents the proportion who reported it was easy or very easy to be themselves in New Zealand, as reported in the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey.
The figure shows that in 2018 and 2019, approximately 80 percent (80.1% and 79.1%, respectively) of respondents in greater Christchurch indicated that they find it easy or very easy to be themselves in New Zealand. This proportion declined to 76.7 percent in 2020. The difference between the 2018 and 2020 proportions is statistically significant.
The figure shows that in 2018 and 2019, European respondents were statistically significantly more likely than Māori respondents and those in the Pacific/Asian/Indian ethnic group, to report that it was very easy or easy to be themselves in New Zealand (84.3%; 74.5%; and 51.5% in 2018 and 82.2%; 71.2%; and 52.5% in 2019, respectively) In 2020, the difference between European and Māori respondents was not statistically significant (European, 80.4%; Māori, 74.0%; Pacific/Asian/Indian, 54.3%).
The figure shows that in 2018, 2019, and 2020, younger people were less likely than older people to report that it was very easy or easy to be themselves in New Zealand (18–24 years, 72.1%; 25–34 years, 72.6%; 35–49 years, 72.5%; 50–64 years, 78.0%; 65–74 years, 88.2%; and 75+ years 87.9% in 2020). The difference shown between young people’s (18–24 years) ease of being themselves, and those in the two oldest age groups (65–74 years and 75+ years), is statistically significant in 2020.
The figure shows that males and females expressed a similar level of ease with being themselves in New Zealand in 2018 and 2019 (82.0% of females reported it was very easy or easy to be themselves, compared with 78.4% of males in 2018 and 79.5% and 79.3%, respectively, in 2019). However, in 2020 the proportion of female respondents who indicated it was very easy or easy to be themselves (79.8%) was statistically significantly higher than for male respondents (73.9%).
The figure shows that respondents with higher household incomes were more likely than respondents with lower household incomes to feel it was very easy or easy to be themselves in New Zealand, over the time series shown (in 2020 83.2% of those with annual household incomes over $100,000; 75.9% with incomes $60,001–$100,000; and 72.6% with incomes $30,000–$60,000; compared with 69.9% for those with incomes under $30,000). The proportion for the highest income group is statistically significantly higher than for all other groups, over the time series shown.
The figure shows that respondents with a long-term health condition or disability, and aged under 65 years, were statistically significantly less likely to indicate that it is very easy or easy for them to be themselves in New Zealand, compared with those respondents without a long-term health condition or disability and those respondents with a long-term health condition or disability, aged 65 years and over, over the time series shown (in 2020, 57.6%; 79.3%; and 82.2%, respectively).
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 Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health website www.cph.co.nz/your-health/wellbeing-survey/
Source data frequency: Annually.