Stats NZ wellbeing survey shows 'huge difference' in satisfaction between renters and owners

Wellbeing statistics released today by Stats NZ show a "huge difference" in satisfaction between renters and owners, but overall life satisfaction among Kiwis remains high. 

Houses in Auckland (file picture). Source:

Today's release also marks the first time sexual identity data was collected and calculated as part of the 2018 General Social Survey.

Sexual identity

Of those asked, 1.9 per cent identified as bisexual and 1.1 per cent as gay/lesbian, while 96.5 per cent said they are heterosexual/straight.

Six per cent of young people aged 18-24 identified as bisexual or gay/lesbian, with the majority identifying as bisexual. Of those aged 65 and older, 1.2 per cent identified as gay/lesbian.

"People identifying as gay/lesbian were more likely to experience discrimination and found it significantly harder to express their identity," senior analyst Rosemary Goodyear said.

Despite most New Zealanders reporting good mental wellbeing, 35 per cent of bisexual people had poor mental health. About one-fifth of heterosexual and gay/lesbian people reported experiencing poor mental wellbeing.

The survey found 39.3 per cent of bisexual and 34.1 per cent of gay/lesbian people were discriminated against in the last year.

Gay and lesbian people were found to be the most socially connected with friends.


Dr Goodyear said what surprised her of the findings was the "huge difference between renters and owners".

The survey found 35.8 per cent of all homes experienced mould.

Nearly half of respondents who rented had experienced mould, at 47.4 per cent, compared to 29.7 per cent of owned houses.

Almost a quarter, 24.6 per cent, of renters consistently had mould that was sized larger than an A4 piece of paper in their rental, with 10.2 per cent of home owners experiencing the same.

"It's a significant amount of mould and related to health," Dr Goodyear said.

It also found one in five renters never or hardly ever heated their living room, compared to six per cent of owners.


Most New Zealanders are either satisfied or very satisfied with their lives, with 81.1 per cent rating it as a 7 out of 10.

People who are over 75 years old had the highest satisfaction. People with disabilities and those identifying as bisexual had the lowest satisfaction.

Almost one in four New Zealand adults reported experiencing poor mental wellbeing.


Eighty-six per cent of New Zealanders reported taking reusable shopping bags for their shops, and 95.1 per cent of Kiwis lived in a household that recycled.

Rural residents, the survey found, were most likely to compost.