New sexual identity wellbeing data reflects diversity of New Zealanders

New sexual identity wellbeing data reflects diversity of New Zealanders



For the first time, data on the wellbeing
of people of different sexual identities has been collected as part of the 2018 General
Social Survey. This is an important step towards better reflecting
the diversity across New Zealand in official statistics. The data highlights wellbeing disparities
between groups and will aid policymakers working to better address these. A person’s sexual identity is how they think
of their own sexuality, and which terms they identify with. In the 2018 GSS, 96.5 percent of New Zealand
adults identified as heterosexual or straight, with 1.9 percent identifying as bisexual and
1.1 percent as gay/lesbian. The remaining 0.5 percent identified as other
identities, which includes terms such as takatāpui, asexual, and pansexual, among others. As GSS data is collected via a face-to face
interview, research suggests it may underestimate the true proportion of sexual minority groups
in New Zealand, due to the survey not being completely private. Eight out of 10 adults who identified as gay,
lesbian, straight, or heterosexual, were generally satisfied with their lives. However, only six out of 10 bisexual adults
rated their life satisfaction as highly. A third of bisexual people experienced ‘poor’
mental wellbeing. and bisexual people were comparatively more accepting of others suffering
from mental illness, with three quarters saying they were comfortable living next door to
someone with a mental illness. People who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual
found it significantly harder to express their identity than those identifying as straight
or heterosexual, and were more likely to say they had been discriminated against in the
last year. Gay and lesbian people were more socially
connected with their friends than other sexual identity groups, and two thirds said they
had not been lonely at all in the past month. Bisexual people, however, fared worse, with
less than a third reporting that they had not been lonely at all in the same period. This is the first time that Stats NZ has collected
information about New Zealander’s sexual identity, and we’d love to hear your feedback
about the way we have collected and used the data. Please see the link below this video.

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