Bisexuals less satisfied with life than gay and straight people - study

New data released on Wednesday indicates bisexual Kiwis could be less satisfied with their life.
New data released on Wednesday indicates bisexual Kiwis could be less satisfied with their life. Photo credit: File

Only six of out 10 bisexual New Zealanders rated their life satisfaction as a seven or more out of 10 when surveyed by Statistics NZ in 2018 - indicating that their life satisfaction is lower than Kiwis who identify as straight, gay or lesbian.

For the first time, the New Zealand General Social Survey (GSS) has collected wellbeing data for people of different sexual identities. The statistics aim to better acknowledge, reflect and understand the country's diverse LGBTQI+ population. 

Stats NZ released the 2018 survey data on Wednesday. The statistics indicate how Kiwis are faring in regards to living behaviours, housing costs and suitability and environmental concern.

The majority of New Zealanders said they identify as heterosexual (96.5 percent). While 1.9 percent identified as bisexual, and 1.1 percent as gay or lesbian. The remaining 0.5 percent identified as "other", such as pansexual and asexual.

Of those surveyed, 23 percent recorded experiencing "poor" mental health, meaning over three-quarters of Kiwis feel their mental wellbeing is good. 

However, one-third of Kiwis identifying as bisexual recorded "poor" mental wellbeing.

Seventy-five percent of bisexual people did say they were comfortable to live next door to someone with mental illness, indicating a higher level of acceptance towards mental illness than straight, gay and lesbian people.

The figures are consistent with those collected by the New Zealand Health Survey, who have documented data based on sexual identity for the last three years.

Stats NZ general manager Jason Attewell did acknowledge that the survey wasn't a perfect representation of New Zealand's LGBTQI+ community - but it is a start.