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New Zealanders’ mental wellbeing declines

woman sitting alone near window

This rise in loneliness occurred despite increases in the proportion of people who had face-to-face contact with family at least once a week and the proportion of people who had non-face-to-face contact with family at least once a week (up from 60 percent and 80 percent in 2018 to 63 percent and 83 percent in 2021, respectively).

Face-to-face contact with friends, however, decreased from 74 to 70 percent.

In 2021, 58 percent of New Zealanders said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable about a new neighbour who had a mental illness, compared with 55 percent in 2018.

In contrast more than 80 percent of people said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable with a new neighbour who was a different religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, used a different language, or had a long-term disability or health condition.

In 2021, 62 percent of people with poor life satisfaction (0 to 6 out of 10) also had poor mental wellbeing. The mean life satisfaction rating for those with poor mental wellbeing was 6.5 out of 10, much lower than the New Zealand average of 7.7.

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