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Personal income

Total personal income information was collected for people aged 15 years and over, who usually live in New Zealand and were present on census night. It includes those who stated not receiving any income. It relates to the 12 months ending 31 March, and includes income from all sources. All income data is gross (before-tax) and has not been adjusted for inflation or other factors.

The census is self-administered, based on recall, and asks for income in broad bands, so take care when interpreting results.

Median personal income increases, but rate of increase slows

The median (half receive more, and half receive less than this amount) gross personal income from all sources for the census usually resident population count aged 15 years and over was:

  • $28,500 in 2013
  • $24,400 in 2006
  • $18,500 in 2001.

Median personal incomes increased by:

  • 16.8 percent between 2006 and 2013
  • 31.9 percent between 2001 and 2006.

$70,001–$100,000 income bracket experiences largest increase

Between 2006 and 2013, the number of New Zealand adults (aged 15 years and over) in the $70,001–$100,000 income bracket increased by 90.4 percent. The proportion of New Zealand adults in this income bracket was:

  • 7.8 percent in 2013 (238,215 people)
  • 4.4 percent in 2006 (125,115 people).

The second-biggest increase was in the $100,001 or more income bracket (71.7 percent). The proportion in this income bracket was:

  • 5.9 percent in 2013 (181,170 people)
  • 3.7 percent in 2006 (105,525 people).

The number of New Zealand adults in the $10,001–$15,000 band declined by 24.8 percent between 2006 and 2013. The proportion in this income bracket was:

  • 8.8 percent in 2013 (267,585 people)
  • 12.5 percent in 2006 (355,899 people).

Graph, Total personal income, 2006 and 2013 Censuses.

Comparison of median personal income from census and the Household Economic Survey (HES)

As census is not the only source of income data Statistics NZ produces, we compared the 2006 and 2013 Census median personal income with the HES for the years ended 30 June 2007 and 30 June 2013.

The median figures in the two measures were closer for 2006/07 than they were for 2012/13. The percentage change in median incomes was quite a bit higher for HES (22.3 percent) than for census (16.8 percent). An increase in the number of people with zero incomes in the 2013 Census may partly explain this, as zero incomes drag the median down.

See Definitions and information about the data for more on the differences between these measures.

Graph, Comparison of Household Economic Survey (HES) and census, for median personal income, 2006 and 2013 Censuses and 2006/7 and 2012/13 HES.

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