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Data Collection

Previous surveys with net worth data

Previous surveys with net worth data

Prior to the current net worth statistics, Stats NZ had collected and published data titled Household Net Worth Statistics: Year ended June 2015. This was based on data collected through the Household Economic Survey (HES): 2014/15. As net worth feeds into vital economic measures for the country, such as the Reserve Bank’s household balance sheet, we consider it important that HES net worth data is accurate and reflects the real net worth patterns and income of households. Towards this objective, and to improve respondents’ experience, we redesigned the net worth related questions in HES 2017/18 compared with the questions used in HES 2014/15.

We advise data users to read Improving net worth statistics for details on what changes have been made between the current Household net worth statistics: Year ended June 2018 and Household Net Worth Statistics: Year ended June 2015 and how these changes would affect our data users.

Before the HES 2014/15, we had two surveys that measured net worth – the Household Savings Survey (HSS), and the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE).

  • The HSS was the first household survey to measure household net worth in New Zealand. The HSS ran in 2001 as a one-off stand-alone survey. It collected information from individuals or couples within a household who were aged 18 years and over. We surveyed approximately 6,600 households in the core sample, and an additional 6,600 were approached and screened for inclusion in the Māori booster sample. The HSS provided statistics on the level, value, composition, and distribution of assets, liabilities, and net worth.

  • Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE) first went into the field in October 2002. It was a longitudinal survey that ran for eight years, with the same respondents being revisited yearly to build a picture of how their circumstances changed over time. SoFIE's sample in the first year of data collection was 15,000 households, but as the years went on, the sample size decreased. Questions relating to respondents assets and liabilities were included in every second wave of the 8 wave survey.

Before attempting to make any time series comparison between our household net worth statistics as derived using data from HES, HSS and SoFIE, we advise users to read the document Sources of household net worth statistics.



Previous Surveys with net worth data