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Growth of families, projected to exceed population

Embargoed until 10:45am – 8 December 2008

Growth of families and households projected to exceed population growth

Numbers of families and households in New Zealand are projected to increase by 23 percent and 34 percent from 2006 to 2031, exceeding projected population growth of 22 percent, Statistics New Zealand said today. These figures are from the latest 2006-base national family and household projections.

The faster growth in the number of families and households is due to the ageing of New Zealand's population, leading to an increasing proportion of 'couple without children families' and one-person households. These figures are from mid-range series 5B, one of six different projection series used to indicate the likely future number and type of New Zealand's families and households.

The number of families is projected to increase from an estimated 1.17 million in 2006 to 1.44 million in 2031. Couple without children families will account for the majority of this growth, up from 468,000 in 2006 to 730,000 in 2031.

The increasing prevalence of couple without children families is mainly due to the increasing number of people born after World War II reaching the older ages (50 years and over), where they are most likely to live as a partner in a couple without children family. Most of these couples will have had children who have left the parental home. Couple without children families will overtake two-parent families to become the most common family type in 2008.

The number of households is projected to increase from 1.55 million in 2006 to 2.09 million in 2031.

Households containing one or two people are projected to account for nearly all of this growth.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
8 December 2008

See also the Hot Off The Press information release National Family and Household Projections 2006(base)–2031 [PDF].



National Family and Household Projections: 2006(base) - 2031 Highlights

The following highlights are based on series 5B, which assumes medium fertility, medium mortality, long-term annual net migration of 10,000 and 'B' living arrangement type rates (see the 'Commentary' section for more detail):

• The number of families is projected to reach 1.44 million by 2031, an increase of 269,000 (23 percent) from an estimated 1.17 million families at 30 June 2006.

• Most of the growth in families will be in couple without children families, which will overtake two-parent families to become the most common family type by 2008.

• The number of households is projected to reach 2.09 million by 2031, an increase of 535,000 (34 percent) from an estimated 1.55 million households at 30 June 2006.

• One-person households are projected to increase by 71 percent, from 363,000 in 2006 to 619,000 in 2031.

• The average size of households will decrease to 2.4 people by 2031, from 2.6 people in 2006.

• The numbers of families and households will grow faster than the population, which is projected to increase by 22 percent between 2006 and 2031.

Attached is information about the statistics released today.

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