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Progress Towards 4 Million Mark Slows

National Population Estimates: March 2001 quarter

Progress Towards 4 Million Mark Slows

New Zealand's estimated resident population at 31 March 2001 was 3,844,900, Deputy Government Statistician Dianne Macaskill said today. During the 12 months ended 31 March 2001, the New Zealand population grew by an estimated 15,100 or 0.4 per cent. This is less than the 20,800 increase recorded for the March 2000 year, and considerably less than the average annual increase of 1.2 per cent for the 1992-99 period.

Population growth was slower in the March 2001 year than in the previous year, due to both a smaller natural increase of population (excess of births over deaths) of 27,700 compared with 29,800 in the previous year, and a larger net permanent and long-term migration outflow (12,600 compared with 9,000 the previous year).

The estimated population increase during the March 2001 quarter was 2,100 or 0.05 per cent. This resulted from a natural increase of 7,400, and a net outflow of 5,300, through permanent and long-term migration. The corresponding population increases for the March quarters of 2000 and 1999 were 4,000 and 3,400 respectively.

Population ageing is continuing. Half of the New Zealand population is now over 34.6 years of age, up more than 3 years over the median age of 31.3 years in 1991.

The population estimates contained in this release were obtained by updating the 1996-base resident population for births, deaths and external migration during the ensuing period, and by adjusting the base population for census undercount and for residents temporarily overseas. The provisional population counts from the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings (held 6 March) will be released on 28 May 2001.


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