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Do partners have similar reasons for moving?

Commentary

Partnered men and women had similar reasons for leaving their previous location as each other. In this context, ‘partnered’ refers to an individual living with a husband, wife, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend when they decided to move. Economic and housing reasons were the main motivations. While there was little difference between reasons given by partners for leaving a location, there were more differences in the reasons given by partners for choosing their new location.

We limited the analysis in this topic to male-female partnerships.

Reasons for moving from previous location

Partnered men and women had a similar distribution of reasons for moving away. Approximately 40 percent chose to move away from their previous location for economic reasons. The majority of the individuals in this category said that they moved because they had purchased or built a dwelling.

Figure 1

Graph, Main Reason for Moving From Previous Location.

Housing reasons also motivated partnered people to move (22 percent of partnered men and women). Within this broad category, most people stated that their previous dwelling was too small.

Economic reasons for moving: a closer look at partners

The majority of partnered couples who gave economic reasons for moving both stated the same reason. When either partner gave a different motivation, this was most likely to be a housing reason.

Table 1

Couples Moving Away for Economic Reasons, by Sex
March 2007 quarter
Number of couples
Both partners 44,700
Male partner only, female moved for different reasons 10,100
Female partner only, male moved for different reasons 8,700
Neither partner 66,900
Note: Non-economic reasons include social, education, employment, housing, environment and other.

The similarity between their reasons could be because partners make their migration decisions together. Even in cases where one person had a different motivation to the most commonly stated reason, their alternative was likely to be a housing reason.

Some of the overlap between these two reasons can be attributed to the way the categories have been defined. Many of the reasons in the economic category are related to the financial aspects of an individual’s housing, for example their previous dwelling was too costly, or they had purchased or sold a house. Reasons in the housing category are more about the physical characteristics, including the size and condition of their house. The Survey of Dynamics and Motivations for Migration in New Zealand full classification system has more details. The financial and physical aspects of a couple’s house are important factors in their decision to move away.

Reasons for moving to new location

People were asked why they chose to move to their new location. The graph below shows that they had a different distribution of reasons, compared with why they left their previous location.

Figure 2

Graph, Main Reason for Moving To Current Location.

There was also more variation in the reasons given by men and women for choosing their new location. Environment was the most common reason given. In particular, both partners often stated that they moved to a place with better or closer services and facilities. A high proportion of men said they moved to a more suitable town, city, suburb, or region.

Economic reasons were the second most common motivation partners gave for choosing their new location, although a higher proportion of men than women stated this reason. Most people in this broad category said that they moved to more affordable housing.

There was less agreement between partners for why they had chosen their new location compared with the reasons for leaving their previous one. It could be that partners are likely to reach a clear, common understanding about why they are moving away. However, there may be various factors in partners’ reasons for choosing their new location, so they might be more likely to move to a new location for reasons different to each other.

Environmental reasons: a closer look at partners

Table 2

Couples Moving to a Location for Environmental Reasons, by Sex
March 2007 quarter
Number of couples
Both partners 22,000
Male partner only, female moved for different reasons 16,600
Female partner only, male moved for different reasons 19,200
Neither partner 91,200

Note: Non-environmental reasons include social, education, economic, employment, housing, and other.

In the majority of partnerships where men moved for environmental reasons, their partner moved for the same reasons. The most common alternative reason was related to housing – one quarter of women who stated a different reason chose this. Housing was not a very common reason for partners overall, so the large proportion of female partners choosing this as an alternative suggests that there is some connection or overlap between environmental and housing motivations.

Although most men gave environmental reasons when their partners did, there were more differences between partners when women stated environmental reasons. Men who thought differently from their partner were most likely to give economic or employment reasons for moving. The diversity of reasons for choosing their new location might suggest that male and female partners have different priorities to each other.

Information sources

The data used comes from the Survey of Dynamics and Motivations for Migration in New Zealand: March 2007 quarter.

Technical information

The subset of partnered couples consisted of individuals in households with only two opposite-sex respondents who were currently partnered and who had stated that they were living with that partner when they decided to move. Because we did not specifically ask people to whom they were partnered, we made the assumption that these individuals were partnered to each other; however there may be a small group for whom this is not the case. Excluded are households in which there were more than two partnered people. Some data were suppressed due to a low number of responses.

More details about the classification system used can be found on the more information and technical notes pages of the Survey of Dynamics and Motivations for Migration in New Zealand: March 2007 quarter.

Glossary

Please refer to Glossary.

Further information

This page is part of a web-based analytical report by Statistics New Zealand. The report includes more than 10 topics. To see the other topics, go to the Internal Migration report introduction page.

Tables

The following tables can be downloaded from the Statistics New Zealand website in Excel format. If you do not have access to Excel, you may use the Excel file viewer to view, print and export the contents of the file.

1.01. Main reason for moving from previous location, partnered men and women
1.02. Main reason for moving to current location, partnered men and women
2. Differences in main reasons for moving from previous location, between male and female partners
3. Differences in main reasons for moving to current location, between male and female partners
4.01. Matrix of main reasons for moving from previous location, male and female partners
4.02. Matrix of main reasons for moving to current location, male and female partners

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