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By The Numbers: More Than 1.4 Billion Data Points To Support New Zealand’s Needs

New Zealand’s team of around 5 million has helped produce an incredibly rich set of statistical outputs to support communities, organisations, and individuals across New Zealand, Stats NZ said today.

The data, which came from the 2018 Census, has underpinned and supported government, academia, and communities to understand the make-up and needs of people in New Zealand.

Altogether, more than 1.4 billion data points have been released, comprising 140 standard data tables and 250 customised releases to customers.

"Census data helps determine where important services such as roads, hospitals, and schools need to be, as well as helping communities work out what they need in their area, and giving kids cool facts to use in their school projects,” general manager social and population insights Jason Attewell said.

In addition to tables and data files, Stats NZ has also released 51 maps, 47 news stories, five infographics, and a custom-made, interactive, digital tool that allows everyone to explore the diversity of places and communities in New Zealand.

"Census data can tell you a lot about your local community, and the popularity of our interactive products about communities and locations shows that New Zealanders are curious to find out more about where they live, work, and play,” Mr Attewell said.

"Census data is Aotearoa's data, and we have unleashed an amazing quantity of it through products that are freely available to everyone. We’ve seen fantastic engagement with our releases online too. Our information release pages have had more than 114,000 views, our technical papers have had more than 25,000 views, our data quality advisories and assessments have been viewed almost 5,000 times, and our 2018 Census news stories have been read nearly 111,000 times. We’ve also had more than 125,000 visitors to the 2018 Census place summaries tool since it was launched in late February.

“On social media, the numbers are even greater. Our posts about 2018 Census data have reached nearly 700,000 people and had more than 74,000 likes, comments, and other engagements.

“This shows that New Zealanders value the insights that census data can provide and are interested in what it can teach them about their country and their communities.

"We acknowledge that it hasn’t always been without hiccups, and we’ve worked hard to meet the needs of people less represented in the 2018 dataset. We know iwi have been disproportionately affected by this under-representation, and we’ve worked hard to find solutions to meet their needs. To that end, we’ve provided 10 customised data outputs to Māori and iwi using 2018 Census data. These have been provided free of charge.

“The relationships we’re working to build in this space will be developed further as we progress past 2018 outputs and into planning for 2023, so that the 2023 Census does a better job of collecting critical data for iwi and Māori.”

2018 Census data has been used to derive the New Zealand deprivation index, and to develop household overcrowding data to help officials manage COVID-19. It’s also been used to update existing electoral boundaries, including the addition of a new electorate in the North Island.

None of this could have been achieved without the participation of people across New Zealand.

“Completion of census forms is what allows us to generate information that supports and elevates communities, families, and whanau. The more people who participate, the better the quality of the resulting data and the more representative it is of New Zealand as a whole,” Mr Attewell said.

“To every single person who filled out their census form in March 2018, we want to say a huge thank you. You’ve contributed to decisions on funding healthcare and schools, helped to build roads and plan public transport, and helped keep communities safe from COVID-19.

“Tēna rawa atu Aotearoa whānui. Nō tātou katoa te kaha. Mauri ora.”

See 2018 Census for the latest statistics.

The Government Statistician authorises all statistics and data we publish.

To read this media release on our website:

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