Life satisfaction

Desired outcomes

Everyone is satisfied with their life as a whole.


One way of measuring wellbeing is asking about life satisfaction – a subjective measure that looks at how satisfied people are with their lives.

Life satisfaction can be used as an indicator of the quality of people’s lives; to monitor social progress; and to assess the policy effects aimed at improvements in the quality of life. People’s ratings of their life satisfaction can be influenced by a number of factors including health; work; economic standard of living; cultural identity; leisure and recreation; safety; and social connectedness.


The headline indicator used in this chapter is overall life satisfaction from the New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS). It measures people's perceived satisfaction with their lives overall.

Domain summaryTop

In 2014, the majority of New Zealanders rated their overall life satisfaction highly and felt that the things they did in their lives were worthwhile.