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NZ Social Wellbeing Compares Well With OECD

New Zealand social wellbeing compares well with OECD

The Ministry of Social Development’s Social Report 2004 shows New Zealanders are living longer, better educated, more likely to be employed and more prosperous.

“The latest report shows that many aspects of people’s lives are better today than they were during the mid 1990s and that 80 percent of New Zealanders are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall,” said Policy Manager David Rea.

Many of the indicators for which we have long term trend data show that wellbeing is also as good as, or better than, during the mid-1980s..

The report also shows that social wellbeing in New Zealand compares favourably with other countries.

“We rate in the top half of the OECD for two thirds of the indicators of social wellbeing for which there is comparable international data” said David Rea. New Zealand also ranks fifth out of 26 OECD countries for the proportion of people who are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives.

An analysis of indicators across the OECD reveals that Australia, along with the United Kingdom, are the countries that most closely resemble New Zealand for social wellbeing. New Zealand ranks better than Australia for employment, obesity, and trust in others. Australia fares better for per capita income, participation in tertiary education, and smoking.

“Social wellbeing in New Zealand is highly comparable with wellbeing in Australia and the same proportion of Australians report being very satisfied or satisfied with their lives as do New Zealanders,” said David Rea.

A minority of indicators show no improvement in New Zealand since the mid 1990s, most notably voter turnout, income inequality, housing affordability, and criminal victimisation.

The Social Report is the third in a series of annual reports that aim to provide a comprehensive picture of social wellbeing and quality of life in New Zealand. The report uses a set of statistical indicators to monitor wellbeing across ten domains: health, knowledge and skills, paid work, economic standard of living, civil and political rights, cultural identity, leisure and recreation, physical environment, safety and social connectedness.

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