Household net worth statistics



Household net worth statistics

Alternate Title

HES; Net worth


Household net worth (HNW) statistics provides information on New Zealanders’ net worth (total assets less total liabilities).

HNW statistics are based on data collected as part of the Household Economic Survey (HES). HES is an annual sample survey that collects a comprehensive range of statistics relating to income and expenditure, and demographic information on households and individuals in New Zealand. The survey runs every year, from 1 July to 30 June of the following year. It covers people aged 15 years and over (15+) who usually live in New Zealand permanent private dwellings. See Data collection methodology in Data collections for more details on the survey coverage.

There are three versions of HES.

• HES (Income)

• HES (Expenditure)

• HES (Savings)

HES (Income) is the primary content and is conducted every year, but combined with HES (Expenditure) and HES (Savings) alternately in the two years in between the standalone HES (Income) year. HES (Income) collects data on household and personal income, housing costs, household and person demographics, and material well-being. Information on housing costs includes expenditure on mortgages, rents, rates, and building-related insurance.

In HES (Expenditure), the survey also collects data on detailed expenditure by New Zealand households.

In HES (Savings), besides collecting data as in HES (Income), the survey also collects data on the assets and liabilities of households in order to determine their net worth. Questions on assets and liabilities are asked within existing HES modules in the income and expenditure questionnaires - where deemed relevant, or collected through separate set of questions (modules) at the end of the income questionnaire. Topics covered in the survey to collect data on wealth include:

• property owned (by type of property)

• mortgages

• equity in businesses

• assets and liabilities held in trusts

• superannuation scheme entitlements

• financial assets

• consumer durables

• other miscellaneous debt.


HNW aims to provide a picture of the net worth (wealth) of New Zealanders, by looking at their household assets and liabilities – financial and non-financial. Conceptually, HNW is designed to look at the distribution of wealth by demographics rather than estimate total wealth. Being collected at the detailed level (ie. at individual and household levels), HNW can be tabulated against a range of demographic and economic variables such as age, sex, ethnicity (for individual data), and region, household size, and household composition (for household data).



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