Story: Income and wealth distribution

Shares of income by decile, 1951–2006

Shares of income by decile, 1951–2006

These two tables show the percentage of income of the population aged 15 and over by decile (tenth). The years up to 1981 are derived simply from market income, and exclude the effect of state pensions and benefits. In these terms the distribution appears to have become more equal over those 30 years, with a diminishing proportion of the income going to the top 20% of people. From 1981 the figures are for total income, and so take into account state benefit payments. These figures show the effect of the benefit cuts of 1991 which reduced the proportion of income earned by the bottom half of earners.

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Source: New Zealand census

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How to cite this page:

Brian Easton, 'Income and wealth distribution - Personal income distribution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 April 2018)

Story by Brian Easton, published 11 Mar 2010