Worrying stats for Hamilton

It seems Hamilton is the new "worry capital" of New Zealand.

A recent survey on the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders has found that Hamilton residents are more worried than people from Christchurch.

Hamiltonians were found to have 8 per cent more worries than the average Kiwi, making the city the most worried in New Zealand - whereas people from Christchurch were found to have on average 5 per cent more worries than average.

The survey of 2000 New Zealanders by Southern Cross Healthcare Group asked respondents to tick issues they were either "worried" about, "in between" on, or "not worried" about on 11 topical issues.

The survey found women were significantly more worried than men, and worry also increased with age.

Rising crime rates topped the list of worries for people from Hamilton, with 66 per cent saying they were worried about this issue - compared with 55 per cent of people nationally. This was despite recent police statistics showing reported crime had dropped in Hamilton over the past year.

The next biggest concerns were being able to retire comfortably (56 per cent of people worried) and insurance costs (56 per cent). Across New Zealand, home and contents insurance premiums have risen substantially over the past year.

A large number of Hamiltonians also harboured health-related worries; 48 per cent of those surveyed said they were worried about their family's health, while 38 per cent were worried about their personal health.

Southern Cross Healthcare Group chief executive Ian McPherson said it was interesting to see the ability to retire comfortably coming through as such a strong concern.

"People are obviously quite aware of the future pressure the country is coming under and the need to save. Elective healthcare costs also need to be a part of the retirement equation. Extra support and education will be needed to help New Zealanders make adequate provision for this."

The same survey in May 2011 found that, as a group, Christchurch people were the most worried New Zealanders - this year retired people topped the list, having on average 13 per cent more worries than the typical New Zealander.

Nationwide, rising crime rates (55 per cent of people worried), insurance costs (52 per cent) and being able to retire comfortably (49 per cent) were New Zealanders' top three worries.

- Hamilton News

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