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Latest Subnational Population Estimates


Latest Subnational Population Estimates

The increasing concentration of New Zealand's population in cities and in the North Island is continuing, according to the latest population estimates for territorial authorities and regions released by Statistics New Zealand. The combined population of New Zealand's cities grew by 45,600, or 2.1 percent during the June 2002 year to reach 2,250,700. In comparison, the combined population of the districts increased by 12,700 or 0.8 percent to reach 1,686,900. Cities are now home to 57.1 percent of all New Zealanders compared with 56.8 percent in 2001 and 56.1 percent in 1996.

At 30 June 2002, the estimated resident population of the North Island was 2,991,300 (up 47,000 or 1.6 percent on June 2001), while that of the South Island was 947,500 (up 11,400 or 1.2 percent). The North Island is now home to 75.9 percent of New Zealand residents, compared with 75.3 percent in 1996.

The Auckland Region – the most populous region in the country – experienced the largest growth in population during the past 12 months. Its resident population increased by an estimated 34,500 or 2.8 percent, to reach 1,251,400 people at 30 June 2002. About 32 percent (or roughly one in three) of all New Zealanders now live in the Auckland Region.

Only one other region – Tasman Region – experienced a growth rate exceeding the national average of 1.5 percent, its population increasing by 2.6 percent. Another five regions recorded growth rates just below the national average. They were Nelson and Canterbury (1.4 percent each), Bay of Plenty (1.3 percent), and Wellington and Otago (1.2 percent each). Four regions – three in the North Island and one in the South Island – had estimated falls in population, ranging between 200 and 400.

In general, the percentage changes in regional population showed significant increases compared with the June 2001 year, largely because of a significant turnaround in the external migration balance, from a net outflow to a net inflow. Arrivals exceeded departures by 32,800 during the June 2002 year, compared with a net outflow of 9,300 in the June 2001 year.

Of the 74 territorial authorities, 43 (14 cities and 29 districts) were estimated to have experienced population growth in the year to 30 June 2002. Auckland City recorded the largest increase 12,700), followed by Manukau City (8,900), Christchurch City (4,900), North Shore City (4,700), Waitakere City (4,500), Wellington City (3,500) and Rodney District (2,600). Other areas to show significant growth were Tauranga, Queenstown-Lakes, Tasman, Waimakariri, and Franklin Districts, and Hamilton and Dunedin Cities, which recorded population increases ranging between 1,000 and 2,500. The population of six territorial authorities (Upper Hutt City, Otorohanga, Whakatane, Horowhenua, and Masterton Districts, and Chatham Islands Territory) were estimated to have remained unchanged.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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