QuickStats About Culture and Identity

Ethnic groups in New Zealand

  • New Zealand's ethnic make-up has continued to change, according to 2006 Census results.
  • European remained the largest of the major ethnic groups, with 2,609,592 people (67.6 percent of the population) in 2006. The Māori ethnic group is the second largest, with 565,329 people (or 14.6 percent).
  • Of the major ethnic groups, the Asian ethnic group grew the fastest between 2001 and 2006, increasing from 238,176 people in 2001 to reach 354,552 people in 2006 (an increase of almost 50 percent).
  • Those identifying with the Pacific peoples ethnic group had the second-largest increase from the 2001 Census, up 14.7 percent to total 265,974 people.

Ethnic group total 

  • Auckland was the most ethnically diverse region in New Zealand, with 56.5 percent of its population identifying with the European ethnic group, 18.9 percent with the Asian ethnic group, 14.4 percent with the Pacific peoples ethnic group, and 11.1 percent with the Māori ethnic group.
  • Around 1 in 10, or 10.4 percent of people, identified with more than one ethnic group in 2006, compared with 9.0 percent in 2001.
  • People aged 0 to 14 years were more likely than people aged 15 years and over to belong to more than one ethnic group. The differences between the youngest and oldest age groups are the most pronounced. In 2006, 19.7 percent of children were reported as belonging to two or more ethnic groups, compared with 3.5 percent of people 65 years of age and over.

Ethnic groups people identify with 
Note: People can choose to identify with more than one ethnic group, therefore figures may not sum to totals.