Self-rated health

Why it's important

Self-rated health is a subjective measure of overall health status and has been found to be linked to actual health outcomes. Evidence suggests that people assess their health in relation to their circumstances and expectations, and their peers. Measuring people’s perceptions of their health provides useful information to help plan for current and future demands for health services.

Key points

  • Results from the 2018 Canterbury Wellbeing Survey show that in Greater Christchurch, just over four-fifths of residents (82.2%) rate their health as excellent, very good, or good, a very similar proportion to 2017 (82.7%).
  • In Christchurch City, 81.8% of residents rated their health as excellent, very good or good, with ratings of 86.2% in Selwyn and 82% in Waimakariri. The percentage differences between councils were not statistically significant.

Note this is an interactive chart and you can select the legend items to change what is shown on the graph.


Looking at other indicators:

  • Levels of self-rated health increase as household income increases;
  • Self-rated health is more likely to be excellent, very good or good for those without a long-term health condition or disability.
  • There were some statistically significant differences for Ethnicity.
  • There were no statistically significant differences when broken down by:
    • gender
    • age

Note: this commentary is adapted from the Canterbury Health and Wellbeing Survey 2017. Reproduced with permission.

Data notes

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index was developed by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and produced in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The Index’s purpose was to monitor social recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Survey (formerly CERA Wellbeing Survey) is a major data source for the Index.  The Survey’s purpose is to inform the monitoring of earthquake recovery by collecting data from greater Christchurch residents on self-reported wellbeing, impacts of the earthquakes, and perceptions of the recovery.

With the disestablishment of CERA in April 2016, the Ministry of Health inherited responsibility for both the Canterbury Wellbeing Index and Survey, which was subsequently delegated to the Canterbury District Health Board (Canterbury DHB).

As time has passed since the earthquakes, the emphasis of both the Index and Survey has shifted to also incorporate a broader focus on wellbeing and factors that influence wellbeing.

A substantial review of the Canterbury Wellbeing Index was undertaken by the Canterbury DHB in 2018 and it was re-launched as a website in late 2018.

The May 2018 survey is the eleventh Wellbeing Survey undertaken. The initial survey was conducted in September 2012 with six monthly surveys. From June 2017 onwards the survey is being conducted annually.

Data information and downloads

Data Source

Canterbury Wellbeing Index(external link) 

Self-rated health indicator(external link)

Data Access

All tables/charts show Greater Christchurch and TA level data.


Date Updated

Last survey June 2018, next survey May 2019

Data Download

Download the tables(external link) found under Health – rating their health

Page Updated

May 2019

Data breakdowns available

Geographic  Area

Greater Christchurch urban area


Territorial Authority (urban area) - Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council

Other download variables

Perceived health (self-reported health status) by Age, Ethnicity, Gender, Household Income, Health condition or disability

Links to other information and reports