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Rural Areas Close to Cities Prosper Most

1 February 2005

Rural Areas Close to Cities Prosper Most

Rural areas close to cities are the fastest growing areas in the country and have populations with the highest incomes, a new report from Statistics New Zealand shows. New Zealand: An Urban/Rural Profile is the first analysis of rural and urban areas for over 20 years. The report states that while populations in rural areas close to cities were up 33.3 percent between 1991 and 2001, more remote rural areas' populations were down 5.9 percent in the same period.

People in rural areas close to cities had an average weekly income of $631 in June 2003, compared with the New Zealand average of $539 weekly. Those in main urban areas also had higher average incomes ($549 weekly), and the greatest ethnic diversity. Smaller urban centres had lower incomes and higher rates of deprivation, especially in parts of the

North Island. Main urban areas have been very successful in attracting young people with these areas having the highest proportion of people aged 15 to 24 years (14.6 percent). Highly rural and remote areas in the East Cape area were strong centres of Mäori culture. They had the highest proportion of people identifying with the Mäori ethnic group and speaking te reo Mäori.

New Zealand: An Urban/Rural Profile is based on the 2001 Census, but also incorporates a range of other data from Statistics New Zealand and other government agencies. The report includes full regional data tables, and is available on the Statistics New Zealand website.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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