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Age and sex

New Zealand population getting older

  • The median age (half are younger, and half older, than this age) of the population continued to increase, reaching 38.0 years in 2013 compared with 35.9 years in 2006.
  • Males made up 48.7 percent of the population and females made up 51.3 percent.
  • Females outnumbered males in all age groups from 25 to 29 years onwards. This was most pronounced in the oldest age groups. Of those aged 85 years and over, 64.3 percent were female.
  • Females had a higher median age (38.9 years) than males (36.9 years). The median age for both sexes increased since 2006, when it was 36.7 years for females and 35.1 years for males.
  • The number of people aged 65 years and over continued to increase. In 2013, there were 607,032 people in this age group, making up 14.3 percent of the population. This was an increase from 12.3 percent of the population in 2006 and 12.1 percent in 2001.
  • Over 73,000 people were aged 85 years or over at the time of the 2013 Census. There was a 29.4 percent increase in this age group since 2006.

Graph, Total population, by age and sex, 1981 Census. Graph, Total population, by age and sex, 2013 Census.

Number of people in their 50s and 60s on the rise

  • The number of people aged 50–69 years rose to 989,364, an increase of 21.5 percent since 2006. People in this age range made up 23.3 percent of the population in 2013, compared with 20.2 percent in 2006.
  • All five-year age groups within this age range showed an increase, particularly those aged 65–69 years, with a 32.0 percent increase, and those aged 60–64 years, with a 29.8 percent increase. 

Graph, Percentage change for five-year age groups, 2006 to 2013 Censuses.

Fewer children than in 2006

  • Although the overall population increased, there were fewer people aged under 15 years in 2013 (865,632 people) than in 2006 (867,576 people). Those aged under 15 years made up 20.4 percent of the population in 2013, a decrease from 21.5 percent in 2006.
  • The age groups that showed the largest percentage decreases were:
    • people aged 35–39 years – down 11.3 percent
    • people aged 30–34 years – down 7.2 percent
    • people aged 10–14 years – down 6.3 percent.
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