Measuring Up


100% of Kiwis Are Above Average

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

- Sir Winston Churchill

The average person thinks he isn't.

- Father Larry Lorenzoni

The stats below aren't current, but I expect they're still representative.  The average hourly wage in New Zealand in 2005 was NZ$19.30, up more than 23% from the year 2000 (but that's not adjusted for inflation because I'm too lazy to do that).  By 2015, there are projected to be 4.4 million people (as of 31 March 2007, there were 4,177,000, so slow growth).  Almost 45% more people were enrolled in tertiary education in 2004 than in 1999, which will have a major impact of some sort.  Kiwi males live longer than either Yanks or Ozzies, though Kiwi women don't outlive Ozzie women (yet).  Kiwis tend to be slightly younger than Ozzies and to have a lower GDP per capita (but higher IQ, no doubt).

Source: 2007

bulletAge (median) 33
bulletAge at marriage (1997) men 33.7 years women 31.1 years
[Since the median age is 33, does this means the average man is married but the average woman isn't quite yet?  Or that more men are married than women?]
bulletHeight (mean) men 175.3cm (5ft 9") women 162.2cm (5ft 4")
bulletWeight (mean) men 80.4kg women 68.7kg
bulletIncome (week) men $617 women $380
bulletAverage income tax owed per year $7,094.36
bulletNumber of children 1.97
bulletAge mother gave birth 29.1 years
bulletLife expectancy men 74 women 79
[Maybe it isn't that more men are married than women but that more women are unmarried than men]
bulletNumber of people per household 2.8
bulletAmount received in Government benefits (1997) $2,503
bulletHours spent at physical leisure each week men 10.2 women 8.3
bulletTime watched TV each day 2.5 hours
bulletAverage time listened to radio each week 2 hours
bulletAmount spent on music a year $26
bulletAmount spent on pokie machines a year (1998) $77
bulletAmount spent on Lotto a year $178.94
bulletTime spent in the garden a week (from a survey of gardeners, of which 44% of New Zealanders are) 4.6 hours
bulletNumber of teeth with fillings 13 (ages 35-44 from a 1988 study - the figure is likely less for the same age group today)
bulletNumber of times had sex a week 2-3
bulletNumber of greeting cards sent a year 9
bulletNumber of addressed letters (including bills) received a year 154
bulletAverage NZ house sale price (Aug 1999) $169,000
bulletAverage Wellington area (Wellington, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti) rates bill $1,278.20
bulletNumber of cigarettes smoked a day 3.9
bulletAverage speed travelled on open road 104km/h
bulletIQ 100-110
[Not 90-110?]
bulletSchool Certificate English mark (1998) 56 percent
bulletConsumed (a year)
bullet84 litres of beer
bullet17 litres of wine
bullet29.4 litres of Coca-Cola
bullet195.7 eggs
bullet16.3 chickens
bullet176 bananas
bullet57.6 kg of red meat
bullet4kg of chocolate bars
bullet3.5 kg of lollies
bulletNumber of times dined at McDonald's a year 10.75
bulletNumber of times went to cinema (1998) 4.3
bulletNumber of videos rented (1997) 7.1
bulletNumber of magazines bought (1998) 27 (costing a total of $68.40) 
bulletAmount spent on car a year (1600cc, includes fuel, oil, tyres, depreciation, residual value, registration, investment on outlay), insurance, WOFs) $6,723 (or $12.99 a day)
bulletDistance travelled in car each year 12,000 km
bulletCar most likely to own Toyota Corolla
bullet.23 dogs
bullet.31 cats 
bullet.047 horses
bullet.32 TV sets
bulletAmount owed in overdue fines $45.90 (from a total of $174,399,000 owed mostly on minor traffic infringements)
bulletAmount of time spent mowing lawns (household, year) 14 - 16 hours

From: NZ Qualifications Authority, Mensa, Land Transport Safety Authority, Smokefree Coalition, Salvation Army, Family Planning Association, Department of Health, Department of Statistics, Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, Hillary Commission, NZ on Air, NZPA, IRD, Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand, New Zealand Post, Video Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Video Dealers Association, MVDI, Automobile Association, Coca-Cola Amatil NZ, Poultry Industry Association, Department of Courts, Masport, McDonald's NZ, Sanitarium Health Food Company Equine Health Association, REINZ, Magazine Publishers Association, Cadbury Confectionery

Source: The Evening Post Wednesday 29 September 1999

Average Gambler

The difference between a lottery and other forms of gambling is that no one has any ability whatsoever to influence the outcome by any knowledge, experience or skill they possess.

- Lesley Meadows
PA manager, Lotteries Commission

Did You Know?

bulletKiwis bet about $20 million per week on horseracing.  $17 million is paid back to punters.  [This means $3 million a week isn't.]
bullet$2 million is bet weekly on, sports events.  This doubled for last month's game between the All Blacks and the Wallabies.
bulletApproximately $12 million is spent each week on Lotto.  $6.7 million is paid in prizes and $2.6 million per week funds community organisations such as the Hillary Commission for Sport, Fitness and Leisure and Creative New Zealand.
bulletYou have one chance in 3,838,380 (per line) of winning Lotto.  One chance in 20 of winning any prize with a $5 Lucky Dip.
bulletOver half the Lotto tickets are bought on a Saturday.  25% of these are sold between 5:00pm and 7:00pm.
bulletTwo thirds of the adult population plays Lotto at least once a month.

A coin is tossed to decide which of two sets of Lotto balls will be used each week.  Lotto balls are made in France.  They're washed in a silicon solution every 8 weeks and weighed with government scrutineers watching to check for any changes which could interfere with a random draw.

Source: The Dominion Tuesday 10 August 1999

Gaming Expenditure Statistics Released

Gaming expenditure statistics released today by the Department of Internal Affairs show that the amount spent on the four main sets of gaming activities for the 1999/2000 year totalled $1.3 billion, an 11% increase over the previous year.

The key points in the 2000 expenditure figures are:

bulletthe amount spent on non-casino gaming machines increased by nearly 25% ($450m)
bulletthe amount spent at casinos increased by approximately 17% ($343m)
bulletthe amount spent on Lotteries Commission products fell by nearly 4% ($277m)
bulletthe amount spent on race and sports betting increased by nearly 1% ($227m)
bulletthe market share of the racing industry and the Lotteries Commission decreased, largely because the amount spent on these products remained static, while the market grew substantially (i.e. the total amount spent on gaming increased).

During the 2000 year two new casinos opened, one in Queenstown and the other in Dunedin.

As at 31 December 2000, non-casino gaming machine licensing statistics indicated that:

bullet860 societies (17 fewer than the previous quarter) were licensed to operate in clubs and on "public" premises
bullet17,679 gaming machines have been licensed, an increase of 539 since 1 October 2000.

Under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977, a licence to operate gaming machines must be issued to any applicant organisation that can show that it is established and conducted entirely for non-commercial purposes, whose intent is to raise funds for community purposes and that meets relevant policy criteria.

The Gaming Review, announced in June 2000, will consider issues relating to the appropriate regulatory regime for all forms of gaming.  The Review considers the changing rates of participation in some forms of gaming and the flow-on effects of these changes on, for example, community funding and problem gambling.

The Department of Internal Affairs is also currently overseeing the New Zealand Gaming Survey, a comprehensive and significant body of work on the issue of problem gambling that will inform the Gaming Review.  A Gaming Review consultation paper seeking views on all these issues will soon be available.  The consultation paper will provide an appropriate forum for issues raised by the release of these statistics.

In releasing the 2000 Gaming expenditure statistics, the Department of Internal Affairs cautions readers not to confuse the terms turnover and expenditure (ie monies spent).  Turnover does not represent the amount "spent" because much of the amount "turned over" is actually given back to players in prize money, particularly in relation to gaming machines, casinos, and race betting.  For example, if a player has $20 to spend on a gaming machine and plays until the full $20 is lost it is likely that this $20 will be recorded on the machine's meters as $120 or more of turnover.

The gaming expenditure statistics are available on the Department of Internal Affairs' gaming licensing website,  Statistical information about non-casino gaming machines is also available on the website.  The latter information is updated on a quarterly basis.

The Compulsive Gambling Society claims that these figures show New Zealand is saturated with gambling options and that there will be heavy costs to pay in the future.  The society's chairperson, Peter Adams, said he believes addiction to gaming machines, or pokies, is widespread, particularly among those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Dr Adams said that an independent commission of gambling should be set up as the Department of Internal Affairs serves the industry, rather than those adversely affected by gambling.

Source: 31 January 2001

by Ward Sutton

Average Health

Health Report Says We're Too Fat and Smoke Too Much Dope

A report card on New Zealand's health progress paints a picture of an unwholesome nation that's too fat, smokes too much cannabis and spends too much time in the sun.

New Zealand has been tracking away from its health targets for obesity, cannabis consumption, alcohol-related illness and melanoma, according to the Government report, Progress on Health Outcome Targets 1999.  It is also off-target for bringing down rates of youth suicide among women, HIV, breast cancer and diabetes.

But the report is not all bad.  High points include reductions in overall tobacco consumption (though lung cancer deaths for women are up), injuries and deaths from road crashes, and deaths from stroke, cot death and heart disease.

Health director-general Karen Poutasi believed people's attitudes towards healthy lifestyles were changing for the better.  "Now it is a matter of encouraging people on how to make the changes that will make a difference."  The New Zealand Health Strategy - a framework for district health boards and the Health Ministry made public last week - would focus on the problem areas of nutrition, obesity, tobacco and drug use, she said.

Health Minister Annette King said New Zealand badly needed to turn around obesity rates.  The report shows the number of obese men has increased from 10% in 1989 - 1990 to 15% in 1997, and the percentage of women from 13 to 19% in the same period.

A further breakdown of the statistics for women shows that Pacific people have the highest proportion of obesity at 47%, and 28% of Maori women suffer from obesity.

Findings in the report include:

bullet15% of males and 19% of females are obese.
bulletThe total amount of tobacco products for consumption per adult reached an all-time low in 1998.
bulletThe rate of sudden infant death syndrome dropped almost 2/3 between 1980 and 1997.
bulletAbout 10 times as many children were admitted to hospital suffering burns from hot objects or substances, caustic or corrosive substances and steam than from burns from fire and flames.
bulletIn 1998 the total number of deaths due to motor vehicle crashes was 504 - the lowest recorded for the past 34 years.
bulletThe higher prevalence of substance abuse and depression are possible contributors to the marked increase in youth suicide rates in New Zealand.
bulletIn 1998 the rate of rheumatic fever in Pacific people was six times higher than the national rate.
bulletDeaths from cervical cancer in 1997 were the lowest, both in number and rates for the past decade.

It is the Government's seventh annual report measuring progress against health targets, drawing on information from the Health Information Service, the national cancer registry, Statistics New Zealand, the Land Transport Safety Authority, the National Audiology Centre and non-government organisations.

Source: The Dominion Tuesday 19 December 2000

Leading the Rest

Source: The Economist date undenoted

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