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Half Local Authority Areas to Have Fewer People

28 February 2005

Subnational Population Projections: 2001(base) ¡V 2026 Update ¡X Half Local Authority Areas to Have Fewer People

Thirty-five of New Zealand's 74 cities and districts are expected to have fewer people in 2026 than in 2001, according to updated 2001-base subnational population projections released by Statistics New Zealand today. These figures are from the 'medium' series, one of three different projection series derived to indicate the likely future size and structure of local populations. The projections are produced to assist local communities, business and government in planning for the future.

Opposite trends in the number of births and deaths are an important part of the projected change. In most cities and districts, the number of births is expected to decrease due to the combined effect of fewer women in the childbearing ages and the decreasing average number of births per woman.

In contrast, the number of deaths is expected to increase in almost all cities and districts, despite continued increases in life expectancy. This is because of the increasing number of people born after World War II reaching the older ages. The net result is that all 74 territorial authorities are projected to experience declining natural increase (births minus deaths) over the next two decades. Currently four territorial authorities are experiencing more deaths than births:

Thames-Coromandel, Horowhenua, Waimate and Waitaki districts. Deaths are expected to outnumber births in 13 territorial authorities by 2016, and 24 territorial authorities by 2026. Despite this trend, natural increase is expected to contribute twice as many people as net migration to New Zealand's population growth between 2001 and 2026. ƒnƒnMedia Release Email: Toll free : 0508 525 525 Auckland Phone: 09 920 9100 Our Information Centres are at: Wellington Phone: 04 931 4600 Christchurch Phone: 03 964 8700

For areas growing in population, the fastest growth is projected between 2001 and 2006. During this period there is a high net migration gain nationally, and for most areas this is when births exceed deaths by the largest margin. While the population is expected to increase in 48 territorial authorities between 2001 and 2006, only 33 are projected to have an increase between 2021 and 2026. The fastest growth between 2001 and 2026 is expected in Queenstown-Lakes District (up 79 percent), Rodney District (up 59 percent), Selwyn District (up 57 percent) and Manukau City (up 54 percent).

At the regional level, the populations of Auckland, Tasman, Bay of Plenty and Nelson are projected to grow faster than the national average. The population of Auckland region is projected to reach 1.77 million in 2026, an increase of 560,000 (or 46 percent) from 2001. Auckland region is expected to account for two-thirds of New Zealand's population growth over this period, and will be home to 37 percent of New Zealand's population in 2026 compared with 31 percent in 2001. Natural increase and net migration gains from overseas are both important contributors to Auckland region's population growth.

All areas will have more older people in future, and most will have fewer children. Currently, one in eight New Zealanders is aged 65 years and over. By 2026, 35 territorial authority areas will have at least one-quarter of their population aged 65 years and over, and two areas will have at least one-third (Central Otago and Waitaki districts). Areas with a high proportion of older people generally have low fertility and/or an outflow of young adults (aged 15¡V29 years).

Areas with high fertility or a net inflow of young adults (such as cities with a university) generally have a younger age structure. These population projections are derived from an assessment of recent and likely future trends in fertility, mortality and migration. They incorporate the latest demographic information, including subnational population estimates and birth and death registrations. Updated population projections for main and secondary urban areas, as well as the 1,860 area units ('suburbs') covering all of New Zealand, will be available by June 2005. Ian Ewing

Acting Government Statistician


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