Enough money is just one of the things people need for a good life in New Zealand, according to a survey that shows why people love the country. Good health, relationships, housing, and enough money strongly influence people living in New Zealand and their satisfaction with their lives overall, according to Statistics New Zealand. The more good outcomes people have in these aspects of their lives, the greater the likelihood they will be satisfied with their lives overall.

In 2012, a fifth of New Zealanders said they had good health, enough money, good housing, and didn’t feel lonely. Nearly all those people, some 98%, were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall. On the other hand, one in 20, just over 5%, said they had neither good health, nor enough money, nor good housing, and said they had felt lonely in the past four weeks. Yet just over half, 55%, of these people were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall.

These findings come from the New Zealand General Social Survey 2012, which interviewed 8,500 people over the 12 months from April 2012. ‘Most New Zealanders appear to be content with their lives, with 87% of the population reporting they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall. This is above the OECD average, and similar to Australia, the United States, and Canada,’ said NZGSS manager Philip Walker.
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Survey results also show that New Zealanders are better prepared for emergencies than they used to be. In 2012, 52% of people living in households had emergency water for three days, compared with 40% in 2008. The increase in the Canterbury and Wellington regions is even starker, with Canterbury increasing from 34% to 69% and Wellington from 51% to 68%. ‘The NZGSS provides official statistics on social well being that extend beyond traditional economic measures such as GDP. The survey aligns with the OECD well being framework, so we can see how New Zealanders fare compared with other countries and over time,’ said Walker.

NZGSS 2012 is the third survey in the series, the first survey was carried out in 2008 and the second in 2010. This gives an opportunity to measure social change over time.