Fri 24 Apr 2015 1:31AM

Sources of personal income

SD Sophie Davies Public Seen by 262

Collecting data on sources of income was introduced in the census to focus respondents on providing accurate total income figures.

Census benefit data is used in the New Zealand deprivation index, although they are only interested in means-tested benefits.

The main limitation of this data is the inability to determine how much income has been received from each source, or at which period during the year.

Our current recommendations relating to sources of personal income

  • We recommend that information on sources of income be collected in the 2018 Census.

  • We propose collapsing the benefit categories for sources of income (keeping New Zealand superannuation separate), unless a clear need for information on different types of benefits is identified.

See our preliminary view of 2018 Census content (pages 39-40) for a more detailed discussion on sources of personal income information.

See 2013 Census information by variable for information on the sources of personal income variable.


Victoria (facilitator) Wed 29 Apr 2015 9:18PM

Kia ora, hello, and welcome to the 2018 Census discussion on the sources of personal income. I am Victoria from Statistics New Zealand and I’m here to facilitate open, respectful and inclusive discussion. Click here to introduce yourself on the welcome and introductions page.

We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.


Ian McLeod Sun 10 May 2015 9:22PM

It would be of value to have a split of benefits categories in the sources of income questions. Users of census statistics may require a split by benefit type in order to separate such things as 'in-kind' and 'in-cash' transfers. It doesn't seem useful to aggregate such sources of income as (say) unemployment benefits and rent subsidies, both the beneficiary type and use to which the benefits are put are quite different.


Victoria (facilitator) Mon 11 May 2015 1:56AM

Hi @ianmcleod thanks for kicking off this discussion! What do other members of this group think about collapsing the benefit categories?


Greg Stephens Thu 14 May 2015 10:57PM

Working for Families is a tax credit, not technically a source of income. It reduces your tax burden technically, even though it gets paid out as a benefit. (This is why it comes from IRD not MSD).

I've also commented about this in the Total person income thread https://2018census.loomio.org/d/Nn1gxjmv/total-personal-income


Ann (topic expert) Tue 26 May 2015 8:24PM

The proposal for this topic is to amalgamate the main benefits into one tick box and the supplements into another tick box. Superannuation would remain as one tick box. Better, more detailed data can be obtained from MSD and this would allow space for more income bands in the total personal income question - or for a different question completely. How would this affect your research?

These categories are often amalgamated in output and are not an indication of what a person is receiving at the moment rather what sources they have received over the last 12 months.

What are your thoughts?