Table 1

‚ÄÉChanges to social determinants of child health over 1980s and 1990s in New Zealand

Social determinantChanges between 1981 and 1999
Income:AverageMean equivalent household disposable incomes in households with children fell in real dollar terms over the 1980s but recovered slightly in the latter half of the 1990s. Households with dependent children had incomes less than 90% on average over this time period.24
Relative povertyIn 1987/88 14.6% of dependent children lived in households with an equivalised household income less than 60% of median (net of housing costs). This increased to 34.7% in 1991/92 and declined to 29.1% in 2000/01.25
InequalityThe household equivalised disposable income Gini coefficient (across all New Zealand households, not just households with children) increased from 0.259 in 1982 to 0.322 in 1996.26
EducationThere has been a decline in the percentage of children with mothers with no formal qualifications (from 47% in 1981 to 27% in 1996) and a concomitant increase in the number of children with mothers with post-school qualifications over this period. (New Zealand Census of Households and Dwellings).
Occupational class/labour force statusThere has been redistribution of the labour force. Fewer children have parents in lower occupational classes (49% in 1981 and 39% in 1996) and more children have parents in upper occupational classes (New Zealand Census of Households and Dwellings). There has also been an increase in the number of children with no parents in the labour force from 13.7% of children in 1986 to 23.4% in 1996.27