Subjective Wellbeing

Quality of life

Overall quality of life refers to a person’s evaluation of their own circumstances and experience of life, which is shaped by their cultural, social and environmental context [10]. Overall quality of life is generally accepted to be more nuanced and complex than other health concepts such as health status, lifestyle, or life satisfaction [10]. Overall quality of life has been measured in the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey since 2012 [11].

This indicator presents the proportion of those 18 years and over indicating that their overall quality of life was good or extremely good, as reported in the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey.

The figure shows a gradual increase in self-reported quality of life (proportion of those rating their quality of life as good or extremely good) for greater Christchurch, between 2012 (73.5%) and 2018 (80.6%). The current result is statistically significantly higher than all time-points prior to September 2014. However, the figure shows a plateau in self-reported quality of life for greater Christchurch since April 2016; with no statistically significant changes in the proportion rating their quality of life as good or extremely good, over the last four time-points. The overall upward trend is statistically significant.

The figure shows that in the earlier years of the time series, levels of overall quality of life (proportion of those rating quality of life as good or extremely good) were generally lower in Christchurch City, compared with Selwyn District and Waimakariri District (statistically significantly lower for Christchurch City compared with Selwyn District, 2012–2018; although similar to Waimakariri District from April 2016). In the current result, the proportion of Selwyn District respondents rating their quality of life as good or extremely good (89.3%) is statistically significantly higher than that for Waimakariri District and Christchurch City (81.9% and 79.4%, respectively). Overall, there appears to be a pattern of convergence between the districts over the last four or five years. Note that these data do not take into account the different socioeconomic profiles of the three Territorial Authorities, with income or socioeconomic status being an important factor for quality of life.

The figure shows that levels of overall quality of life (proportion of those rating their quality of life as good or extremely good) have generally been higher for European respondents, compared with Māori and Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents (statistically significantly higher for Europeans compared with Māori and Pacific/Asian/Indian, 2012–2018; with the exception of April 2016 to June 2017 for Māori). In the current result, the proportion of European respondents rating their quality of life as good or extremely good is statistically significantly higher than that for Māori and Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents (82.5% compared with 74.4% and 69.2% respectively, 2018). While there is some variability in the results for Māori and Pacific/Asian/Indian (due to smaller absolute numbers in the sample) there appears to be an overall pattern of convergence between the groups over the last five years.

The figure shows a pattern of converging overall quality of life (proportion of those rating their quality of life as good or extremely good) for the age groups over the time-series. While there have been some statistically significant differences between young people and the older age groups, at some time-points (e.g., between the 18–24 years group and the 50–64 years group, for 09/2012, 04/2013, 04/2015, and 09/2015; and older people 65+ years for 04/2013) there have been no statistically significant differences between any age groups since April 2016.

The figure shows a pattern of generally similar overall quality of life (proportion of those rating their quality of life as good or extremely good) for female and male respondents, over the period 2012 to 2018 (no significant differences at any time-points).

The figure shows a clear positive relationship between income and overall quality of life, with the proportion of those rating their overall quality of life as good or extremely good increasing with increasing annual household income. The differences between the four income groups shown in the figure have been statistically significant at most time-points across the time-series. In the current result, almost all (93%) of those respondents from the $100,000+ income group rated their quality of life as good or extremely good, compared with less than two-thirds (61%) of those from the <$30,000 income group (a statistically significant difference).

The figure shows lower levels of overall quality of life (proportion of those rating their quality of life as good or extremely good) for respondents with a long-term health condition or disability, compared with those without, from 2012–2018. The substantial difference between the groups has been persistent and statistically significant for all years in the series (for 2018, the proportion of respondents rating their quality of life as good or extremely good was 59% for those with a long-term health condition or disability and 86% for those without). There appears to be an overall upward trend for both groups, although trend analysis is not available for these data.

Data Sources

Source: Canterbury District Health Board.
Survey/data set: Canterbury Wellbeing Survey to 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: 21/11/2018