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Vox pops - What makes a good life?

Thursday 28th May 2015

Young Kiwis are pretty happy with their lives, though some say they lack a sense of purpose, and over a third say they don’t have the income, or only have just enough money, to meet their everyday needs.

That’s according to figures from Statistics New Zealand’s General Social Survey.

Around 8 in 10 New Zealanders said they were satisfied with their lives and almost 9 in 10 said they felt the things they did had purpose.

Young people between 15 and 24 have the lowest sense of purpose in the population despite relatively high levels of life satisfaction.

Sixteen percent of 15-24 year olds said they’d score their sense of purpose between 0 to 6 out of 10.

There were some groups, such as sole parents and unemployed people, who had lower levels of life satisfaction and purpose.

For young people, almost 18 per cent said they did not have enough money to meet everyday needs, the highest compared with those in prime working age, middle-age, and older people groups.

Those earning more money were more satisfied with their lives. Just under 8 in 10 people earning $30,000 or less rated their satisfaction with their lives overall at 7 or above compared with just over 9 in 10 people with a personal income of $100,000 or more.

The stats also show that the more qualified people are, the more likely they are to rate life satisfaction above 7 out of 10.

Young people rated their health status highly and had fewer qualms with the state of their accommodation compared with the rest of the population.

Probably not surprisingly young people had the least contact, either over the phone or in person, with their families, but had the most contact with friends. And yet the group felt the most lonely with almost 13 percent saying they had felt lonely some of the time in the last month, and 4 per cent saying they’d felt that way most/all of that time.

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