Social well-being is about the vitality that communities and individuals enjoy through their connections to their community and through having healthy and active lifestyles.

Good health is vital to well-being. Health is a major component, in one form or another, to the region’s overall GPI. Social connectedness is integral to well-being. Relationships give people support, happiness, contentment and a sense they belong and have a role to play in society. They also mean that people have support networks in place that they can call on for help during hard times. Several studies have demonstrated links between social connectedness and the performance of the economy, and positive outcomes for individual health and well-being.

Six of the top ten positive indicator trends (within the social aspect of the WR-GPI) are in the connected community area, with a particularly large increase in the proportion of households with access to the internet, and access to broadband in particular. There were also significant increases in public and active transport use, and in positive perceptions of the ease of walking and of travelling by public transport in the region.

Two of the quality lifestyle indicators have also trended positively (reported crimes against property, and commercial visitor guest nights), as have two indicators in the healthy community outcome area (number of avoidable deaths and hospital admissions).

The ten indicators exhibiting the greatest negative trends span all five social well-being community outcome areas. Peak AM/PM congestion rates worsened and the percentage of people who rated getting around the Wellington region by cycling as ‘good’ (from the connected community area) decreased. Perception of public transport network reliability (regional foundations area) also declined. 

Measurable Outcomes

Healthy Community

People's physical and mental health is protected. Living and working environments are safe, and everyone has access to health care. Every opportunity is taken to recognise and encourage good health.

Connected Community

Our local, national and international connections (including our access to them) are efficient, quick and easy. Our communication networks, air and sea ports, roads and public transport systems are world class and enable us to link with others, both within and outside the region.

Sense of Place

We have a deep sense of pride in the Wellington region and there is strong community spirit. We value the region’s unique characteristics – its rural, urban and harbour landscapes, its central location, and its capital city.

Quality Lifestyle

Living in the Wellington region is enjoyable, and people feel safe. A variety of healthy and affordable lifestyles can be pursued. Our art, sport, recreation and entertainment scenes are enjoyed by all community members – and attract visitors.

Regional Foundations

High quality and secure infrastructure and services meet everyday needs. These are developed and maintained to support the sustainable growth of the region, now and in the future.

Social well-being 2001-2018

What this means

Change in the social well-being aspect of the WR-GPI has been relatively small overall. Recent change can be seen with a downward trend from 2012 to 2018 where the index dropped by 2 percentage points.


In 2001 the index was 90.1% then reached maximum point of 90.8% in 2012 and in the last 4 years declined to 88.7% in 2018.


While the index has not changed significantly over the study period, some of the individual indicators have experienced more substantial shifts than others. The sharp positive trends that have occurred within some indicators have been offset by significant negative trends occurring in others, resulting in a fairly stable pattern across the composite index.


Did you know?

The GPI counts our health-care costs created by smoking, not exercising, eating poorly and becoming obese, as costs, not gains, to the economy.