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Steady Population Growth

National Population Estimates: March 2006 quarter

Embargoed until 10:45am — 12 May 2006

Steady Population Growth

The estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4,134,200 at 31 March 2006, Statistics New Zealand said today. The population increased by 40,900 (1.0 percent) in the March 2006 year, compared with 38,900 (1.0 percent) in the March 2005 year.

The higher population growth during the March 2006 year was due to a larger natural increase (excess of births over deaths). Natural increase was 31,200 in the March 2006 year, 2,300 higher than in the March 2005 year (28,900). Permanent and long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 9,700 (24 percent of population growth) in the March 2006 year, slightly lower than the net migration gain of 10,000 in the March 2005 year.

At 31 March 2006, half New Zealand's female population was over the age of 36.6 years and half the males were over 34.8 years. The median age increased by 3.1 years for women and 2.8 years for men between the 1996 and 2006 March years.

The age composition of the New Zealand population has changed over the last decade. The number of children (0-14 years) grew by 18,900 (2.2 percent) between the 1996 and 2006 March years. However, the number of children decreased by 4,300 (0.5 percent) to 876,800 at 31 March 2006, compared with 31 March 2005. At 31 March 2006, children made up 21.2 percent of the New Zealand population. In comparison, the population aged 15–64 years accounted for 66.5 percent of the population at this time.

During the last decade, this age group increased by 311,500 (12.8 percent) to 2,748,000 in 2006. The 65+ age group grew by 80,500 (18.8 percent) over the same period, to reach 509,400 at 31 March 2006.

At 31 March 2006, the median ages of the population aged 15–64 years and the population aged 65 years and over were 38.7 and 74.2 years, respectively, up from 36.3 and 73.3 years, respectively, in 1996.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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