Quality of life

Why is this important?

Quality of life is a subjective measure of satisfaction. People's satisfaction with their overall quality of life provides a self-assessed measure of wellbeing. How people feel about their life is an important measure of the health of our communities.

Key points

  • Just over eight in ten (82%) greater Christchurch residents rate their quality of life positively (24% rate it as extremely good while 58% rate it as good). The proportion rating their quality of life positively has remained stable since April 2016, following a significant increase in the six months before that (from 77%) in September 2015.
  • Four per cent indicate that their quality of life is poor (extremely poor or poor) which is a slight decline over previous surveys.


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


Eighty-six percent of those living in Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts rate their quality of life positively. For those living in Selwyn District, this is a decrease from September 2016. For those living in Waimakariri District, ratings have been stable since April 2015.

Christchurch City residents continue to rate their quality of life less positively than residents of Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts, (81% rating it as good or extremely good), although this has been steady since April 2016.

Those more likely to rate their overall quality of life positively (82%) are:

    • Those who rate their health as very good or excellent (95%)
    • Those who rarely or never feel isolated (91%)
    • From a household with an income of more than $100,000 (93%) or between $60,001 and $100,000 (87%).

Those less likely to rate their overall quality of life positively (82%) are:

    • People who feel lonely and isolated most of the time or always (37%) or sometimes (72%)
    • Those who rate their health as poor or fair (47%)
    • Living with a health condition or disability (59%)
    • From a household with an income of less than $30,000 (64%)
    • Living in temporary housing (67%)
    • Of Pacific, Asian, or Indian ethnicity (69%) or of Māori ethnicity (77%)
    • Renting the dwelling they usually live in (70%)
    • Those aged 50 to 54 years (75%).

Respondents were asked for the first time in June 2017 the reasons for their quality of life rating. Common themes included health status, financial wellbeing, the strength of family and other personal relationships, housing status, employment status, hobbies and leisure activities, and access to the natural environment. For one in eight of those who rated their quality of life negatively, the earthquake impacts were reported as a substantial contributor.

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

Data notes

  • 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 https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/CantyWellbeingSurveyJun2017.pdf(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 last updated

Last survey June 2017

Date next updated

Next survey June 2018, updated November 2018

Data Download

Download the tables here [XLS, 1.3 MB]

Data Breakdowns Available

Geographic  Area

Greater Christchurch Urban Area


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

Other download variables

Respondents who rated their overall quality of life as good or very good by Age, Ethnicity, Household Status, Household Income, Home Ownership

Links to other information and reports