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New Zealand Women Number Over Two Million

There were 2,013,000 women and 1,942,600 men resident in New Zealand at 30 September 2002, according to the latest population estimates released by Statistics New Zealand. Now there are nearly 104 women for every 100 men. Women have outnumbered men by a slowly growing margin since the late 1960s. The median age for women is about 36 years, while the median age for men is two years younger at 34 years. The higher median age for women partly reflects their higher life expectancy.

New Zealand's estimated resident population at 30 September 2002 was 3,955,600 – just 44,400 short of the four million mark. During the September 2002 year, the population grew by 62,300 or 1.6 percent, with a net migration gain contributing three-fifths of the growth. Permanent and long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 37,100 during the September 2002 year, compared with a net outflow of 1,700 in the September 2001 year. Over the same period, natural increase (excess of births over deaths) contracted by 10 percent, from 28,000 in the September 2001 year to 25,200 in the September 2002 year.

During the September 2002 quarter, the New Zealand population grew by 16,800 or 0.4 percent.

This resulted from a natural increase of 5,800, and a net inflow of 11,000 through permanent and long-term migration. The corresponding population increase for the September 2001 quarter was 12,800, largely because of a smaller gain from migration (6,700).

Population ageing is continuing. Half of New Zealanders are now over 35 years of age, compared with a median age of 32 years in 1992. Children under 15 years numbered 880,800 at 30 September 2002 and made up 22.3 percent of all New Zealanders, down from 23.1 percent in 1992. People aged 65 years and over totalled 469,200 and made up 11.9 percent of all New Zealanders, up from 11.3 percent in 1992. Boosted by a net migration gain during the September 2002 year, the working age population (15–64 years) increased by two percent, from 2,553,600 to 2,605,600 at 30 September 2002. They accounted for 65.9 percent of all New Zealanders in 2002, up from 65.6 percent in both 2001 and 1992. The movement of the 'baby boomers' into the older working ages means that the labour force is taking on an older profile. The number of New Zealanders aged 45–64 years increased by a third between 1992 and 2002, from 674,500 to 889,800.

All quarterly and annual population estimates for 1991–2001 have been revised and are available on the Statistics New Zealand website (

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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