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Population Growth High at 1.7 Percent

Population Growth High

The resident population of New Zealand at 30 September 2003 was estimated at 4,024,400, according to the latest population estimates released by Statistics New Zealand. The New Zealand population reached the four million milestone in late April this year.

The population growth in the September 2003 year of 68,300 (or 1.7 percent) was the largest recorded in the September years from 1992 onwards. This compares with increases of 62,900 (or 1.6 percent) in the September 2002 year and 20,100 (or 0.5 percent) in 1999, the lowest annual increase recorded in this period.

Three-fifths of the growth in the September 2003 year was due to a net migration gain, with permanent and long-term arrivals exceeding departures by 40,400. This compares with a net gain of 37,100 during the September 2002 year. The remaining two-fifths of the population growth was due to natural increase (excess of births over deaths). Natural increase was 27,800 in the September 2003 year, an increase of 2,000 when compared with the September 2002 year.

The New Zealand resident population of just over four million can be split into four 'single million' groups by age. In round terms, the youngest one million New Zealanders are aged 0 to 16, one million are aged 17 to 34, one million are aged 35 to 51 and the oldest one million are 52 years and over. Overall, half of all New Zealanders are now aged over 35 years, compared with a median age of 32 years a decade earlier in 1993.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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