Bread prices are up 40 per cent in five years, and barely half the population think they have enough to live on.
These are just two of the pieces of information included in a Statistics New Zealand booklet published today that provides a "shop window" for people coming to this country.
Visitors can learn from the booklet, New Zealand in Profile 2014, that the country is comparable in size to the United Kingdom or the Philippines, and that it has a similar-sized population to Ireland, Singapore and Norway.
"A democratically elected government contributes to schools, universities and hospitals, so New Zealanders are generally well educated, healthy and have a good standard of living," the booklet said.
According to the booklet, the price of a 700-gram loaf of sliced white bread rose over the five years to June 2013 from $1.38 to $1.94 - an increase of about 40 per cent.
In comparison, the Reserve Bank's inflation calculator puts the increase in the overall cost of goods and services for the five years at 10.8 per cent.
The booklet also said the price of fish and chips had risen over the five years from $4.93 to $5.77 - up 17 per cent, while 1 kilogram of lamb chops rose from $10.73 to $12.29 - a gain of 14.5 per cent.
A 400-millilitre glass of beer rose from $4.47 to $5.78 - up 29.3 per cent, and an adult visit to a GP was up from $29.26 to $36.28 - a gain of 24 per cent.
A litre of 91 octane petrol was up less 6 per cent, from $1.94 to $2.05, while 2 litres of standard milk edged 4 cents lower to $3.19.
The booklet also quotes from the New Zealand general social survey of 2012, which found just 52 per cent of people in this country said they had more than enough, or enough, to live on.
Other facts from the survey included in the booklet note 60 per cent of New Zealanders described their health as either excellent or very good, 69 per cent had never felt lonely in the past four weeks, and 94 per cent felt a sense of belonging to New Zealand.
The annual rate of population change is faster than that in three of the top five source countries for visitors to New Zealand, the booklet said.
New Zealand, with a 0.86 per cent annual rate of population change, is behind the 1.11 per cent in Australia, which provides the highest number of visitors to this country.
The third-placed United States also has faster population growth than New Zealand with 0.9 per cent annually. Second-placed China is slower at 0.46 per cent, as is the fourth-placed United Kingdom with 0.55 per cent, and fifth-placed Japan which is actually declining, with a rate of -0.1 per cent.
In the five years to June 2013, there were 310,638 births in New Zealand and 146,991 deaths, while 427,209 people arrived permanently and 389,607 left.
Median hourly earnings rose over the five years from $18.70 to $21.58, an increase of 15.4 per cent, with median weekly earnings up from $729 to $844, a rise of 15.8 per cent.
Statistics NZ said the booklet "offers a picture of life in Aotearoa and is a useful tool for people looking to learn more about the country".
It gave an overview of the country's people, economy and environment.
"This is a shop window for people coming to New Zealand. It shows them how much some items cost, how New Zealanders feel about their lives, and where most people live," deputy government statistician Carol Slappendel said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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