Household access to the internet in NZ

By Aaron Schiff 27/05/2015

The NZ Census asks a bunch of questions about household access to various types of telecommunications services, like fixed-line phones, faxes, mobile phones, and the internet.

The internet question is a bit crude — it does not distinguish between dial-up and broadband for example, and simply asks about access rather than use. But anyway, the following chart shows the relationship between household access to the internet and median household income, for the 2001 and 2013 Census results by area unit. In both cases I’ve used the 2013 median household income and this is strongly correlated with 2001 median income.


Obviously, household access to the internet has increased dramatically over this period. A positive correlation between income and internet access is clear, although this probably will not be entirely an income effect and probably reflects other factors like the difficulty and cost of internet access in rural areas.

There are a few areas at the low end of the income scale that have very high household internet access in 2013, likely due to things like the government’s rural broadband initiative. It also seems like at higher income levels at least the distribution of internet access has become more compressed. In 2001 the rate of internet access for area units with 2013 household income > $100,000 was between about 50% and 75%; in 2013 these rates are more tightly clustered around 90%.

This is part of my NZ Census Challenge series, visualising all questions in the 2013 NZ Census.