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NZ's Population Growth Remains High

Population Growth Remains High

New Zealand's resident population was estimated to be 4,038,900 at 31 December 2003, according to the latest population estimates released by Statistics New Zealand. The New Zealand population reached the four million milestone in late April last year.

The estimated population growth in the December 2003 year remained high at 63,000 and was marginally lower than the growth of 63,700 recorded in the December 2002 year. (Both increases represent a rise of 1.6 percent for the respective years.) This compares with an average annual increase of 43,400 (or 1.2 percent) in the December years from 1991 onwards.

Fifty-five percent of the growth in the December 2003 year was due to a net migration gain, with permanent and long-term arrivals exceeding departures by 34,900. This net gain was slightly lower than the net gain of 38,200 during the December 2002 year. The remaining 45 percent of the population growth was due to natural increase (excess of births over deaths). Natural increase was 28,100 in the December 2003 year, an increase of 2,600 when compared with the December 2002 year (25,500).

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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