The census night population count of New Zealand is a count of all people present in New Zealand on a given census night. This includes visitors from overseas who are counted on census night, but excludes residents who are temporarily overseas on census night.
The census night population count of an area in New Zealand (subnational count) is a count of all people present in that area on a given census night. This count includes visitors from elsewhere in New Zealand and visitors from overseas who are counted in that area on census night, but excludes residents of that area who are temporarily elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas on census night.
For example, the census night population count of Auckland region includes all people present and counted in Auckland region on census night. It includes residents present, visitors from elsewhere in New Zealand and visitors from overseas. It excludes people who usually live in Auckland region but were not in Auckland region on census night.
Where the data comes from
The census night population count is a count of all individual forms received plus substitute forms created for usual residents.
Substitute individual forms are individual forms created by Statistics NZ where there is sufficient evidence that a person exists, but Statistics NZ has no corresponding individual form. Substitute forms are created to ensure every person and every dwelling is counted in the census. No substitute individual forms are created for overseas visitors.
How this data is classified
The census night population count is a count of individual forms received plus substitute forms created for usual residents. No classification is used for the count.
The subject population for this variable is census night population count.
The subject population is the people, families, households, or dwellings to whom the variable applies.
Non-response and data that could not be classified
There is no non-response category for census night population count as it is a count of the individual forms received and the substitute forms created.
The 2013 substitute rate was 4.7 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in 2006 and 2.3 percent in 2001.
For more information on non-response and substitute records, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.
How this data is used
Data from this variable is used:
- to formulate, monitor, and evaluate central and local government policy
- as a critical input to population estimates and projections
- to provide information on how communities are changing.
Data quality processes
All census data was checked thoroughly during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it met quality standards and is suitable for use. These quality checks included edits.
All data must meet minimum quality standards to make it suitable for use.
A quality level is assigned to all census variables: foremost, defining, or supplementary.
Census night population count is a foremost variable. Foremost variables are core census variables that have the highest priority in terms of quality, time, and resources across all phases of a census.
Mode of collection impacts – online form compared with paper form
The online forms had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from online forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done. There will always be a mode effect but this cannot be measured. Statistics NZ design and test to minimise the effects of mode for all questions.
Quality assessment of data and data quality issues for this variable
Overall quality assessment
High: fit for use – with minor data quality issues only. 2013 Census variable quality rating scale gives more detail.
Issues to note
- The 2013 substitute rate was 4.7 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in 2006 and 2.3 percent in 2001.
For more information on substitute records, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.
Comparing this data with previous census data
This data is fully comparable with data from the 2006 and 2001 Censuses. Changes in the data over this time period can be interpreted as real changes because there have been no changes in the way the data has been collected, defined, and classified.
Note that for 2006 the census night population count for the Gisborne region was artificially raised, due to the presence of cruise ships in the Gisborne oceanic region.
Comparing this data with data from other sources
No alternative data source is available.
Further information about this data
When using this data, be aware that the census night population count tends to undercount the number of overseas visitors.
The census night population counts of Dunedin city and Christchurch city were affected by the presence of cruise ships in those areas.
Contact our Information Centre for further information about using this variable.