Bogus expat salary headlines
A couple of years ago, the Herald won Stat of the Week with a story headlined “Goodbye NZ, hello $100,000“. They have fallen for this year’s version of the same survey again, with a story headlined “$100,000 easy for our expats” claiming that more than half of Kiwi expats make over $100000. It should be pretty obvious that this story can’t actually be true, especially given their recurring stories about problems Kiwis face in Australia.
The story comes from a survey by Kea, ‘New Zealand’s Global Network’, of about 30000 of its members, ie, a self-selected, non-representative group making up about 3-5% of Kiwi expats. Basically, Kea have successfully gotten the paper to report as news their ability to contact and market to a large, high-income set of expats.
Update: For example, at the 2006 Census, average income for Kiwis aged 25-44 working in Australia was just under AU$50,000 (Table 15), about 25% higher than in NZ for the same jobs. It will have gone up a bit since then, but not doubled.
Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »