South Island women NZ's most stressed people - study

If you're a woman and you live in the South Island, you are more likely to suffer from stress, new research has shown.

The latest Roy Morgan survey revealed women were more susceptible to stress than men, with more than 22 per cent saying they were stressed, in contrast with about 13 per cent of men.

Stress levels of people living in the South Island were two per cent higher than in the North.

Generations Y and Z were the most likely to have been stressed in the last 12 months, with more than 20 per cent reporting stress at some point in the year.

Pre-baby boomers were the least stressed, at only 7.9 per cent.

The survey also showed that 628,000 - or one in five - New Zealanders aged over 14 have experienced stress in the past year.

"A wide range of factors can contribute to stress; including work, finance, health and family matters," said Roy Morgan general manager Pip Elliott.

"In terms of how this has changed historically for the North and South Island, the biggest increase was among those who live in the South Island, increasing from 16.5 per cent in 2011 to 19.4 per cent in 2012."

Yet despite the marked increase in stress for the South Island, Roy Morgan said it wasn't willing to attribute the results to the Christchurch earthquakes.

"We didn't make that link, that's something that would be more speculative than hard concrete data," said senior account manager Jon Hackett.

"We don't ask for the source of the stress in the interviews but you can speculate.

"That could very well be the case - financial stress due to the quakes."

He said women in Australia were also much more likely to suffer stress than men, and Australians living in rural areas were more likely to suffer stress than those in the city.

- Cassandra Mason of Herald Online

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