QuickStats About Culture and Identity

  • The European ethnic group was the largest of the major ethnic groupings, totalling 2,609,592 people (67.6 percent of the population) in 2006.
  • New Zealand European was the country's largest individual ethnic group, with 2,381,076 people identifying with this group. The number and proportion of people identifying with this group decreased since the 2001 Census, largely because of the introduction of the New Zealander category in 2006. (New Zealander responses, which totalled 429,429 in 2006, were previously counted in the New Zealand European category.)
Five Largest European Ethnic Groups
2001–2006 Censuses
Ethnic group   2001 count  2006 count Percentage change
New Zealand European(1)   2,696,724 2,381,076 -11.7
English   35,082 44,202 26.0
Dutch   27,504 28,641 4.1
British   16,572 27,189 64.1
Australian   20,784 26,355 26.8
1. In 2001, and previous censuses, New Zealander was counted in the New Zealand European category. The 2001 Census data for New Zealand European therefore includes approximately 80,000 New Zealander responses. New Zealander was a separate category for the first time in the 2006 Census, and forms part of the Other Ethnicity category.  

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