Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Sources of income – personal, family, extended family and household


The variable 'sources of personal income' identifies the various sources from which an individual aged 15 years and over received their total personal income in the 12 months ending 7 March 2006.

In the census, it is generally only realistic to collect money income. This is the income that the individual respondent can normally recall or can readily retrieve from their financial records. Money income is money flow from the deployment of one's labour, entrepreneurial skills and assets, and transfers received. The concept of money income therefore relies on identifying the sources from which money income is derived.

Excluded are:

  • income in kind
  • imputed income
  • unrealised income
  • contingent income
  • moneys received from borrowing
  • making withdrawals from savings
  • receiving payments of loan principal
  • tax credits, and
  • reimbursements of expenses.

Sources of personal income are aggregated to derive the following variables:

  • Sources of family income
  • Sources of extended family income
  • Sources of household income.

'Sources of family income' identifies the various sources from which a family nucleus received their total family income in the 12 months ending 7 March 2006.

'Sources of extended family income' identifies the various sources from which an extended family received their total extended family income in the 12 months ending 7 March 2006.

'Sources of household income' identifies the various sources from which a household received their total household income in the 12 months ending 7 March 2006.

The definitions of 'family' and 'extended family' are restricted to people living in the same household. So although financial interdependence can exist across households, the family income and extended family income data relates to people living in the same household.

Each source of income is counted once per family, extended family or household.

Relationship to questionnaire

Data on sources of personal income comes from question 30 on the individual form (PDF 395kb).

Subject population

The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

The subject population for sources of personal income is the census usually resident population aged 15 years and over.

The subject population for sources of family income is families in private occupied dwellings.

The subject population for sources of extended family income is extended families in private occupied dwellings.

The subject population for sources of household income is households in private occupied dwellings.

Sources of family income and sources of household income are not available for a small number of families and households.

Non-response rates

The 2006 non-response rates for the sources of income variables were:

  • sources of personal income: 6.3 percent
  • sources of family income: 2.1 percent
  • sources of extended family income: 1.5 percent
  • sources of household income: 4.5 percent.

In 2001 the non-response rate was 6.2 percent for sources of personal income, 1.3 percent for sources of family income, 1.4 percent for sources of extended family income (including extended families with no source of income) and 3.7 percent for sources of household income.

Quality Management Strategy priority level

The sources of income variables are defining variables.

The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.

Defining variables cover key subject populations that are important for policy development, evaluation or monitoring. These variables are given secondary priority in terms of quality, time and resources across all phases of the 2006 Census.

All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.

Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data

There are no issues affecting the comparability of this data with 1996 and 2001 Census data.

For the 2006 Census, some minor wording changes were made to the categories to reflect benefit changes, but these have not affected the comparability of the data.

Comparability with non-census data

The sources of income variables can be compared with related components of the New Zealand Income Survey (NZIS) data:

  • wages and salaries
  • self employment
  • income investments
  • ACC
  • NZ superannuation
  • other superannuation
  • unemployment
  • sickness benefit
  • DPB
  • invalids benefit
  • student allowance
  • no sources and not stated.

Comparisons with the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE) and the Household Economic Survey (HES) are also possible, but the census data is not as comparable with the data from these surveys as it is with the NZIS data because of the time lags.

Significant issues

There are no significant issues that users need to be aware of.

Other things to be aware of

  • The non-response rate varied by ethnicity. The non-response rate was highest for 'Pacific peoples' and lowest for 'other'. The non-response rate, from highest to lowest, was as follows:
    • Pacific peoples 8.3 percent
    • Middle Eastern/Latin American/African 6.3 percent
    • Asian 4.9 percent
    • Māori 4.8 percent
    • European 1.9 percent
    • Other 1.3 percent.
  • The non-response rates were highest for the 15- to 19-year age group (9.8 percent) and the 85 years and over age group (9.7 percent).
  • 'Sources of personal income' is a multiple response question. Respondents were asked to mark all the boxes that described a source of income for them. When a person reported more than one source, they were counted in each source they reported. This means that in sources of income tables, the sum of people or families will exceed the total number of people or families. Any percentages calculated on the total population will add up to more than 100 percent.
  • It is possible for people to have had more than one type of benefit during the 12 month period ending 7 March 2006.
  • Where respondents marked 11 or more sources of personal income, their response was classified as 'not stated'.
  • The time reference periods are different for income variables and for other variables that may be cross-tabulated with income variables. For example, 'work and labour force status' relates to the week prior to census day, while sources of personal income relates to the previous 12 months ending on census day, and 'total income' relates to the 12 months ending on 31 March 2006. It cannot therefore be assumed that someone employed in the previous week has been employed all year and received only wage and salary income.
  • All census data was subject to considerable checks (including edits) during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it meets quality standards and is suitable for use. These checks were applied to data supplied both on paper and on Internet forms. In addition to these quality checks, the Internet form had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from Internet forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done.
  • There were differences between how the forms were completed on the Internet and on paper for this variable:
    • The Internet form did not allow the inconsistent multiple response of 'no source of income during that time' to be selected along with one or more personal income sources. If the 'no source of income' box was marked, any other response(s) to sources of personal income disappeared. Inconsistent multiple responses to this question were possible when forms were completed on paper.
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+