Sources of Personal Income - 2001 Census


This variable identifies the various sources that an individual received their total personal income from. --

Variable name: Sources of income Definition: This variable identifies the various sources from which an individual received their total personal income. In the census, it is generally only realistic to collect money income. This is what 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 is income in kind, imputed, unrealised and contingent. Contingent income is that dependent on the unknown income of a course of action, eg to sue. Money received by borrowing, making withdrawals from savings and receiving repayments of loan principal are excluded. Tax credits and reimbursements of expenses are also excluded. Sources of income can also be combined to provide information on: total household sources of income; total family sources of income; combined parental sources of income for couples with child(ren); total extended family sources of income. Questionnaire: Individual form question 25 Subject population: Census Usually Resident Population Count aged 15 years and over. Non-response: 6.2 percent in 2001, 5.6 percent in 1996. Quality level: Sources of income is a supplementary variable. Comparability with previous census data: Categories have changed due to changes in the benefit system (eg introduction of Community Wage)

Things to be aware of: The question asks for the respondent to mark "all the ways you got income in the 12 months ending today". Users should be aware of this when comparing data from this variable with variables which cover a different time span (eg work questions, unpaid activities, travel to work). Respondents are allowed to "mark as many spaces as you need to show all the ways you got income" (with the exception of 'no source of income'). The maximum number of responses allowed is 13. Changes in the names of various benefits may have caused confusion about which benefits people received. There are high levels of non-response for some ethnic groups with the following non-response levels being recorded for the main ethnic groups (from highest to lowest) Pacific Peoples at 8.8 percent, Asian at 8.1 percent, 'Other' at 8.0 percent, Maori at 4.8 percent, and European at 1.8 percent.
Users of the data need to be aware of the impact of high levels of non-response for this variable for some ethnic groups, age groups and regions as these could lead to bias. This question covers a 12 month time span therefore seemingly inconsistent data such as high income together with responses including benefits could occur validly.

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