28 Oct 2009

Mixed results in Social Report 2009

3:04 pm on 28 October 2009

Housing affordability and participation in teritary education are down in the latest snapshot of how New Zealanders are faring.

The Social Report 2009 charts progress across 43 indicators including health, education and income.

The report, based on data from last year, shows slightly less than one third of households spend more than 30% of their income on housing, up from 21% in 2004.

For the first time in 25 years, income growth for low to middle income households exceeded that of higher income households.

Real median hourly earnings dropped slightly from 2007 to 2008 to $18.78, with the hourly rate for a woman 88% of a man's.

Highest hourly earnings last year were in Wellington and Auckland, and the lowest in Manawatu-Wanganui and Northland.

The Social Report also shows participation in tertiary education has fallen each year since 2005.

Life expectancy is improving, though. It is now 78.2 years for men and 82.2 years for women.

Not so good is the obesity rate, with 25% of people over 15 classed as obese.