Self-reported health

Why is this important?

Self-reported 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 demand on health services.

Key points

  • Results from the 2017 Canterbury Wellbeing Survey show that in greater Christchurch, just over four in ten residents (44%) rate their health as excellent or very good, while 18% rate it as fair or poor.
  • Residents of Selwyn District were more likely to rate their health as excellent or very good (50%) than Christchurch City or Waimakariri District residents (44%).

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


Those more likely to rate their health as excellent or very good (44%) are:

  • From a household with an income of $100,000 or more (65%)
  • Those who do moderate or vigorous exercise five days a week or more (53%)
  • Those aged 30 to 49 years (52%)
  • Living with children in the household (52%)
  • Those who rarely or never feel lonely or isolated (52%)
  • Those who rate their quality of life as good or extremely good (51%).

Those more likely to rate their health as fair or poor (18%) are:

  • Those who rate their quality of life as poor or extremely poor (72%), and/or who consider their quality of life has deteriorated somewhat or significantly in the last 12 months (48%)
  • Living with a health condition or disability (56%)
  • Those who feel lonely or isolated always or most of the time (54%) or some of the time (25%)
  • From a household with an income of less than $30,000 (36%)
  • Those aged 75 years or more (27%)
  • Of Pacific, Asian or Indian ethnicity (26%)
  • Of Māori ethnicity (25%)
  • Those who live in temporary housing (24%).

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

Data notes

  • This was a new question in the survey in 2017, so data is not available from previous surveys.
  • The question was worded as ‘In general how would you rate your health?’ with participants required to circle one of the responses (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent).
  • The Canterbury Wellbeing Survey, formerly known as the CERA Wellbeing Survey, was developed by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) together with a multiagency working group in 2012.
  • The survey’s purpose was 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 this work, which was subsequently delegated to the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).
  • As time has passed since the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the emphasis of the survey has shifted to also incorporate a broader focus on wellbeing and factors that influence wellbeing.
  • The June 2017 survey is the tenth Wellbeing Survey undertaken. The initial survey was conducted in September 2012 with six monthly surveys since then. From June 2017 onwards the survey will be conducted annually.
  • To see detailed breakdowns and changes with statistical significance, download the excel spreadsheet with additional tables.

Data information and downloads

Data Source

Canterbury Wellbeing Survey(external link)

Data Access

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

Tables for variable breakdowns (age, gender etc) supplied on request

Date updated

Next survey June 2018

Data Download

Download the tables here [XLS, 792 KB]

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, Household Income, Home Ownership

Links to other information and reports