Household income

Why it's important

Households on low incomes may find it difficult to meet basic household needs and cope with emergency or unanticipated expenses. Low income is associated with poor outcomes in many related areas such as employment, educational achievement, adequate housing, access to recreational activities, exposure to air pollution, nutrition, lower life expectancy, and chronic illness including mental illness. 

Key points

  • Median weekly household incomes from wages and salaries in the Canterbury region were slightly below the national median in June 2018, at $1,280 compared with $1,304.

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


The median weekly household income in Canterbury has tended to track slightly above the national median for the past 20 years. Because this data only tracks wage and salary earners, higher levels of unemployment, as seen from 2007 as a result of the Global Financial Crisis, are not mirrored here.

The impact of a worker shortage and demands of the Christchurch rebuild post 2010-22 earthquakes, are seen in the higher levels of wages and salaries being paid through the period 2013-2015.

Data notes

The income information is collected as part of the Household Labour Force Survey each year during the June quarter. This information is similar to what was previously collected in the New Zealand Income Survey but only covers income from wages and salaries, self-employment, and government transfers. Private transfer and investment income are no longer included.

Household income

The table refers to wage and salary income from all individuals aged over 15 years in the household. A dependent child has been defined as under the age of 18 years and not working full-time.

Income from pensions and other government benefits, and from self-employment, is excluded.

Median weekly income

The middle point of the distribution of weekly household income. For example for 99 households, the median weekly household income is the weekly income of the 50th household - when households are ranked by weekly income.

This data is not inflation-adjusted.

Data information and downloads

Data Source

Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Data(external link)

Data Access

Downloads freely available

Date updated

Data collected annually in June, latest update to June 2018

Data Table Download

Download tables [XLSX, 19 KB]

Page Updated

[XLSX, 19 KB]May 2019

Data breakdowns available

Geographic  Area

Canterbury and New Zealand

Links to other information and reports