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Household Economic Survey and Household Economic Survey (Income)

We are currently interviewing households for the Household Economic Survey (Income) 2016/17.

The Household Economic Survey (HES) collects information on household expenditure and income, as well as a wide range of demographic information on individuals and households. Purchases recorded by households include such things as fruit and vegetables, footwear and cars, as well as spending on services such as electricity, telecommunications and health. The survey also asks for detail on where households get their money from – for example, wages and salaries, self-employment, investments, or benefits.

The three main objectives of HES are: to contribute to the reweighting of the consumers price index (CPI); to supply expenditure statistics for use in estimating gross domestic product (GDP), and to provide an indication of the overall living standards of New Zealanders.

The primary objective of HES (Income) is to provide indicators on how personal and household income, housing costs, and living standards have changed over time. Information from HES (Income) is used to support policy development and decision making by government agencies. 

Latest news

Adjustment made to household response rates
For the 2012/13 HES year, there was an adjustment to household response rates.

Revision note: Household Economic Survey
For both the 2006/07 and 2009/10 HES years, some expenditure that should have been coded to alterations was instead coded to maintenance. This data has now been revised, with a resulting shift in expenditure away from maintenance and towards alterations/additions when compared with that published previously for these years.

Household spending compared with 40 years ago – infographic (published November 2013)
Statistical story in pictures, celebrating 40 years of HES, including changes in our spending on rent, food, clothing, and cigarettes and alcohol.

Information releases

Household Economic Survey
The HES is conducted on a three-yearly basis while a shortened version called HES (Income) is run in the two years in between.


Household economic tables 
Provides links to household economic tables in NZ.Stat – our free web tool for creating, finding, customising, and downloading datasets.

Find out more about NZ.Stat.

More Household Economic Survey data and information 
Information about HES data, such as suppression and confidentiality rules, and how to get customised data.

Differences between full HES and HES (Income) 
Outlines the main differences between HES, which runs every three years, and HES (Income), which runs in each of the two years between the full HES.

Reports and articles

Sources of household net worth statistics (published August 2016)
The different sources of household net worth statistics, the differences and similarities between them, and the level of comparison customers can make between them.

Regional household benchmarks for the Household Economic Survey (published November 2012)
Explains how previous benchmarks used in HES led to inconsistent reported estimates, and how new benchmarks have corrected these estimates.

Changes to the Household Economic Survey (published 2007)
Between 2003 and 2006 HES underwent significant redevelopment, with major changes to collection methodology and classifications. 

Household Economic Survey redevelopment (published 2003)
Presents two documents as part of the review and redevelopment of HES 2006/07.

HES integrated weighting (published June 2001)
Describes the method of integrated weighting applied to HES 2000/01 and the expected impacts on outputs. 

Information about data

Flowcharts are printable versions of the questionnaires:

Household Economic Survey Classifications
Expenditure classifications used in the 2003/04, 2006/07, 2009/10, and 2012/13 HES, and in the 2014/15 HES (Net worth).

See also


Information for survey participants

Household Economic Survey – information for participants

Information about our surveys: A–Z of surveys

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