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Sources of income

Sources of personal income

In the 2006 Census, people were asked to record their sources of income for the year ended 7 March 2006. Many people recorded more than one source of income and were counted in each category they recorded, therefore totals may add up to more than 100 percent. For people who received income from more than one source, the main source of income could not be identified.

Common sources of income relatively unchanged

The three most common sources of income reported by people aged 15 years and over in 2001 and 2006 were:

Selected Sources of Annual Personal Income
2001 and 2006 Censuses   
 Income source 2001   2006  
Percent of people  
 Wages and salaries 56.7   59.9  
 Interest and investments 25.9   24.1  
 Self-employment 16.7   16.6  

Proportion with no source of income unchanged

The proportion of people with no source of income stayed the same in 2001 and 2006, at 6 percent.

Fewer people received income from unemployment benefit

The number of people who received income from the unemployment benefit at some time during the 12 months ending census night decreased:

  • 48 percent, from 178,377 people in 2001 to 92,169 people in 2006.

More people received income from sickness benefit

Although just 2 percent of those aged 15 years and over received income from a sickness benefit at some time during the 12 months ending census night in 2006, this source had the largest percentage increase of:

  • 32 percent over five years, from 53,460 people in 2001 to 70,551 people in 2006.

 Graph, Sources of Income Received from Government Transfers.

Income sources vary by region

Sources of income varied across regions. The highest proportion of people receiving:

  • Wages and salaries was in the Wellington Region (64 percent).
  • Interest and investments was in the Tasman Region (29 percent).

Number of income sources

Most people who reported that they received an income, received income from only one source.

Number of Income Sources
2006 Census
Number of sources Percent  
One 61.8
Two 29.9
Three or more 8.2

Note: In the 2006 Census, sources of personal income was collected for people who were aged 15 years and over, who usually lived in New Zealand. It relates to the 12 months ending 7 March 2006.

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