New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS)

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The New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS) is one of three integrated household surveys in Statistics NZ. It is conducted under the Programme of Official Social Statistics. The NZGSS provides a cross-domain perspective of social wellbeing for the population of New Zealand. As such it provides a basis for cross domain analysis, not possible with other more narrowly focussed surveys and is also a basis for coherent monitoring of some key aspects of social wellbeing over time.


The New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS) produces statistics about social wellbeing to inform decision-making by government agencies and the wider community. Data gathered includes objective information about circumstance, such as labour force status and income, as well as a personal assessment of different aspects of New Zealander's lives, such as life satisfaction, health, housing, human rights, and relationships. In particular, the survey provides a view of how wellbeing outcomes vary across different groups within the population.

Citation Information


New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS)

Alternate Title

General Social Survey


Stats NZ


Stats NZ

Coverage Information

Temporal Coverage

  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2012
  • 2014
  • 2016
  • 2018

Topical Coverage

  • Wellbeing
  • Overall life satisfaction
  • Civic and human rights
  • Culture and identity
  • Housing
  • Knowledge and skills
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Material standard of living
  • Paid work
  • Physical environment
  • Safety and security
  • Self-assessed health
  • Social connectedness

Poster and brochure

Interactive web-tool


Fact Sheet

Media release

High charts 2008, 2010, 2012

First Release Report and 2008 standard tables

First Release and 2010 standard tables

First release and 2012 standard tables

Data dictionary


NZ Stat Tables

NZ.Stat Tables


5) Two-yearly

Usage and limitations of the data

The New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS) will be repeated every two years and used for cross-domain analysis. Data will continue to be used in the development of future iterations and for time series monitoring. Future use of each NZGSS dataset would be high for the first two years after first release, but would drop off to medium after that.

Significant events impacting this study series

Data Collection Disruption 2011: After the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011, interviewers were unable to work in certain parts of the Canterbury area. This led to a lower number of completed cases for February and March in the Canterbury area. The weights used for the survey have controlled for the loss of cases. The September 2010 earthquake in Christchurch did not affect data collection.

Main users of the data

Government departments, researchers, regional and local councils, community organisations and the wider public.

Revision Information

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