Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What it means to be lonely

I stumbled across this story today and It got me thinking about the Ministry of Social Developments yearly Social report.
The Social report - reports on various indicators and I often use them in my work. As I work in South Auckland with a high proportion of Maori, Pasifika and migrants the social report shows key indicators for these communities.
Although I doubt that google trends and the social report have much in common I thought that I would draw your attention to the reports outcomes for 'Lonliness' and 'trust in others'

"Trust in others"
The social report reports on the population over 15 years. It found that 69% of New Zealanders said that they believed people could be trusted. It found that people in the 'other' ethnic group reported the highest overall level of trust in others at 73% Maori (57 percent) and Pacific peoples (56 percent) had the lowest proportions who felt that people could be trusted.

Trust in others tends to increase as personal income levels increase. New Zealanders with personal incomes over $100,001 reported the highest overall levels of trust (82 percent). Those with incomes of $30,000 or less reported lower levels of trust overall, with only 66 percent indicating that they thought people could be trusted 'almost always' or 'usually'

Those living in Manukau reported the lowest level of trust in others, with 61 percent reporting people could 'almost always' or 'usually' be trusted.

Which I found pretty unsurprising but interesting all the same - NZ ranked 26th in the OCED for 'Trust in others'

The Lonliness stats go like this

NZ/ Europeans reported the lowest rate of loneliness with 15 percent - Twenty-two percent of Maori and 25 percent of Pacific peoples reported they are 'sometimes' 'most of the time', or 'always' lonely. Asian/Indian peoples (36 percent) and people in 'OtherĂ® ethnic groups (36 percent) reported the highest rates of loneliness.

Incomes of $20,000 or less reported higher rates of loneliness than people with higher incomes. This compares with a loneliness rate of only 5 percent for those with a personal income over $100,001.

People living in Manukau City had the highest reported incidence of loneliness. Those living in the Rodney District had the lowest reported incidence of experiencing loneliness (14 percent).

They measure lonliness and trust in others because they are measures of wellbeing. There is probably something in the 'stuff' story about Aucklanders and their levels of misery. Unless we are all obsessed with a little cartoon goth girl.