September 25, 2019

National topic counts from Census 2018 released

Census 2018 shows national home ownership rates unchanged, though 22 percent of dwellings have a dampness issue.

In addition to national and sub-national population counts, Statistics New Zealand also released national level results for a wide variety of topics.  Included were first time topics such as access to basic amenities, dwelling mould, and dwelling dampness. However, due to the lower direct response rate for the 2018 Census, the data quality for these variables might be low.

In this article I will quickly cover some of the topics such as home ownership, employment, and qualifications, in addition to the first time variables mentioned above. 

Home ownership unchanged from 2013

Almost two thirds of households as at the 2018 Census were owned or held in a family trust, with the remaining 36 percent of households being rented.  Compared to the 2013 Census there has been little change in the tenure of households in New Zealand with rented households up 0.3 percent and owned households down 0.3 percent.  Given the housing stories of recent years, this variable will need to be examined in greater detail to determine how this national level picture looks at a local authority level and the age profile of each group. 

A quarter of those aged over 15 now hold a bachelor degree or higher

On the qualification front the number of people with at least a bachelor degree has increased from 20 percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2018, of the total population over 15 years of age.  At the other end of the spectrum the percentage of the total population over 15 with no qualifications declined from 21 percent in 2013 to 18 percent in 2018.  This is a welcome continuation of the current trend of higher educational achievements, but it would be interesting to see the demographic breakdown of who has a bachelor degree or higher and what occupation and income they are receiving.

Employment up 22 percent thanks to large increase in office managers and sales assistants

Examining census employment variables reveals that 2,445,140 people were employed, up 444,140 from 2013 or an increase of 22 percent.  The occupations with the largest increases were office managers, up 34,000 people, followed by sales assistants, up 24,750 people, and managing directors, up 17,030.  Occupations seeing the largest declines were receptionists, down 8,400, followed by survey interviewers, down 2,670, and general clerks, down 2,260.

Of the employed population, six percent are employers, one percent are unpaid family workers, while another 10 percent are self-employed.  Compared to the 2013 Census the share of employers is down one percent, unpaid family workers are down one percent, and self-employed are up two percent.  This shows that 85 percent of people employed are employed by someone else, and interestingly just 164,700 people worked at least one hour in a second job, which is 6.7 percent of the employed population.  With the current focus on the gig economy, these numbers are still quite a small part of the employed workforce.

In addition 50 percent of the population aged 15 and above were employed full-time, a further 15 percent were part-time employed, four percent were unemployed, and the remaining 31 percent were not in the labour force.  Compared to the 2013 Census full-time employment is up two percent, part-time employed are up one percent, unemployed is down one percent, and not in the labour force is down two percent.  Given the strong increase in the over 65 population, it is good news that the percentage of the 15 and over population not in the labour force has declined between 2013 and 2018, rather than the expected increase.

22 percent of dwellings have a dampness issue

Lastly, the three new census variables on quality housing showed us that three percent or 44,500 occupied dwellings were always damp, with a further 19 percent or 274,400 occupied dwellings sometimes damp, or just over 20 percent have at least some dampness issues.  Also, four percent of occupied dwellings with mould always have mould of at least an A4 size, and a further 13 percent of occupied dwellings sometimes have mould of at least an A4 size in the dwelling. Finally, looking at the basic amenities available in occupied private dwellings, just 0.4 percent or 6,000 dwellings have no basic amenities. While a further one percent of dwellings indicated that they do not have either cooking facilities, kitchen sink, bath / shower, or toilet.  Two percent do not have electricity supply, and three percent of dwellings do not have either tap water that is safe to drink, or a refrigerator.

This data shows that while the majority of the population live in dry, mould-free dwellings with access to basic amenities, there is still around 20 percent of dwellings with at least some dampness and mould issues.  These dwellings will need to be improved to ensure that all New Zealanders live in a warm and dry dwelling.