Market income per person
Real gross national disposable income (RGNDI) per person is a measure
of the total value of goods and services available to New Zealanders, expressed
in inflation-adjusted dollars, per head of population.
Per capita RGNDI measures the average income available
to New Zealanders. A nation with rising per capita RGNDI will have a greater
capacity to deliver a better quality of life and standard of living to the
Current level and trends
In the year to March 2004, RGNDI per person was $28,360
in constant 1995/1996 dollars compared with $22,573 in 1988. The average
annual growth rate over the whole period was 1.4 percent. RGNDI grew slowly
between 1988 and 1990 and fell sharply between 1990 and 1992. Since 1992, there
been uninterrupted though variable growth. Post-1992 growth reflects labour
productivity gains, increasing labour force participation and declining unemployment.
Figure EC1.1 Real gross national disposal income per capita, 1988–2004
Source: Statistics New Zealand
Comparisons with other OECD countries are available
for a related measure: gross domestic product (GDP) per person compared by
using purchasing power parities (PPP). By this measure New Zealand ranked 21st out of 30 OECD countries in 2003, the same ranking as in the previous
two years. By way of comparison, New Zealand was the 18th most prosperous out of 26 countries in 1986, and the 9th most prosperous
in 1970. Between 1986 and 2003, real GDP per person, using US dollars and PPPs
for the year 2000, grew by 23 percent in New Zealand compared with an OECD average of 37 percent.
Economic value of unpaid work
RGNDI does not take into account the value of unpaid
work such as looking after one’s own children, cooking meals at home, fixing
the car, doing home maintenance, or doing voluntary work in the community.
Using data from
the 1998/1999 Time Use Survey, the value of unpaid work in 1999 was estimated
to be $39,637 million (1998/1999 dollars), equivalent to 39 percent of GDP,
or $10,333 per capita.53