Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2011, a report by the Ministry of Social Development, was released this past week. It shows that, in 2011, inequality in New Zealand was at its highest level ever.
- Inequality decreased significantly from 2009 to 2010, then rose from 2010 to its highest level ever in 2011.
- The latest figure for OECD comparisons is from 2009, when New Zelaand was a little above the median inequality level.
- From 2010 to 2011, median household incomes fell 3% in real terms.
- This followed a long and strong rise from the mid 1990s to 2008-09, when growth in median household incomes averaged 3% annually.
- From 2010 to 2011, incomes fell for deciles 3-6, but rose for the top decile especially.
Income poverty for children
- In 2011, the child poverty rate was between 16% and 25% (depending on which measurement method is used).
- Child poverty rates were flat from 2009 to 2011, but the rates remain high relative to other age groups.
- 22% of all children are in beneficiary families.
- 25% of all children are in households with no full-time worker.
- 40% of poor children come from families where at least one adult is in full-time work or is self-employed.
- 70% of poor children live in rental accommodation.
- Poverty rates for younger children are generally higher than for older children.
Hardship rates for children
- Hardship rates for children rose from 15% in 2007 to 21% in 2011.
- Income poverty rates for single person working-age households rose from 10% in the 1980s to 30% in 2011.
- 1 in 9 poor children are from this group.
- 1 in 4 poor households are from this group.