This graph, drawing on a 2001 household survey, illustrates three important ways that family composition and stage affect its wealth, and this in turn is a partial consequence of changing income over time. Clearly a one-parent family is likely to have considerably less income than families with two adults. Second, older couples are likely to have higher family incomes than younger couples, because they are more likely to earn higher salaries, and they have had more time to save and invest in possessions such as a house. Third, couples with older children are likely to have more wealth. This is partly a reflection of the age of the parents and partly because of the high cost of raising children. If the youngest child is aged 13 to 17, it is likely that older children will have left home. However, the wealth of younger couples with older children is lower – possibly because it has been affected by the long period of child-rearing.
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Source: Statistics New Zealand