• Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
People

Main urban areas were home to 2,654,850 New Zealanders at the time of the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings, 71.0 percent of New Zealand’s census usually resident population count. The population of this profile area grew by 13.0 percent between March 1991 and March 2001, faster than the national average of 10.8 percent.

Percentage Change in Census Usually Resident Population Count
Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991 and 2001

Graph, Percentage Change in Census Usually Resident Population Count.

The majority of the population in main urban areas lived in the North Island (2,113,662 people), with 541,188 people in the South Island.

Main Urban Areas Usually Resident Population
Census of Population and Dwellings, 2001

Table, Main Urban Areas Usually Resident Population.

Main urban areas had a population density of 522.8 people per km2, more than twice that of satellite urban areas, and considerably above the national average of 14.2 people per km2. There were considerable differences between main urban areas. Central Auckland zone had the highest population density, approximately four times the average for main urban areas (2,326.2 people per km2). The large number of residential apartment developments concentrated people in this area. Hamilton urban area had a larger land area (1,100 square kilometres), compared with Auckland urban area (1,086 square kilometres), but had a much smaller population than Auckland. The Hamilton urban area includes some surrounding semi-urban areas beyond the boundary of Hamilton City. As a result, of any main urban area, Hamilton urban area had the lowest population density (151.0 people per km2).

Main urban areas had the highest proportion of women of any profile area. The male/female ratio in these areas was 93.3 males to 100 females, compared with a national average of 95.2 males to 100 females. Kapiti, an urban area with a high concentration of older people, had the lowest proportion of males (87.2 to 100), while Upper Hutt zone had the most even ratio (98.9 to 100).

The population of main urban areas has been growing faster than the national average. According to population estimates, the resident population of main urban areas increased by 113,600 people (4.1 percent) between June 2001 and June 2003,. This compares with an average increase of 3.3 percent nationally.

Projected Population for Main Urban Areas
2001 (base)–2021

Graph, Projected Population for Main Urban Areas.

The population of main urban areas is projected to increase by 20 percent between 2001 and 2021 (medium projection series), compared with a national increase of 16 percent. As a result, it is likely that a higher proportion of people will dwell in main urban areas in the future. Projections suggest that 74 percent of the 2021 population will live in main urban areas, compared with 71 percent at the time of the 2001 Census.

Projected Population Change for Five Highest and Five Lowest Ranking Main Urban Areas
2001 (base)–2021

Graph, Projected Population Change for Five Highest and Five Lowest Ranking Main Urban Areas.

In 2001, main urban areas had the highest proportion of young adults (people aged 15–29 years) but a lower proportion of children. There were proportionately fewer people aged 65 years and over than for the national average and other urban areas. There were, however, a higher proportion of people aged over 80 years. Those in this group are more likely to move to main urban areas to access care facilities. As a result of this age structure, main urban areas had the lowest median age of all profile areas (33.9 years, compared with 34.8 years nationally). The proportion of people of working age (66.2 percent) was the second-highest of any profile area, and higher than the national average of 65.3 percent recorded at the 2001 Census. Porirua zone had the highest proportion of children aged under five years (9.6 percent), and Dunedin the lowest proportion (5.6 percent), compared with an average of 7.2 percent for main urban areas.

New Zealand and Main Urban Areas
By age and sex, Census of Population and Dwellings, 2001

Graph, New Zealand and Main Urban Areas.

In 2001, main urban areas had the second-lowest dependency ratio of all profile areas, with 51.0 dependents per 100 adults of working age, compared with a national average of 53.2. The proportion of dependent children per 100 adults was the lowest of any area (33.4, compared with an average of 34.8).

Highest and Lowest Ranked Main Urban Areas
By dependency ratio, Census of Population and Dwellings, 2001

Table, Highest and Lowest Ranked Main Urban Areas.

The majority of New Zealanders live in main urban areas, which means that national figures will often reflect patterns in main urban areas. Main urban areas had similar birth and death rates to those for the national population. There were 15.4 births per 1,000 people in these areas, compared with 15.1 births nationally (annual average for 1999–2003). The death rate was close to the national average, 7.3 deaths per 1,000 people, compared with 7.5 nationally. For more details on possible causal factors in regional death rates see the New Zealand Life Tables.

The infant mortality rate (an average of 5.2 deaths per 1,000 live births for the years 1999–2003), was similar to the national average of 5.5 infant deaths.

Main urban areas had the greatest ethnic diversity of all profile areas. They had the lowest proportion of people who specified European ethnicity and the highest proportion identifying with the Pacific peoples, Asian and/or Other ethnic groups. Main urban areas also had the second-lowest proportion of people specifying Māori ethnicity (13.1 percent, compared with 14.7 percent nationally). People identifying with European ethnic groups were the most numerous, accounting for almost 8 in 10 people in main urban areas. Thirty percent of people in main urban areas identified with an ethnic group other than European.

Ethnicity(1) (Grouped total responses)
Census of Population and Dwellings, 2001

Graph, Ethnicity.

(1) As people may specify more than one ethnic group, the sum may be more than 100 percent.

Considerable variation in ethnicity existed between main urban areas. North Island urban areas, especially Auckland, showed greater ethnic diversity. Almost 1 in 5 people (19.0 percent) in Central Auckland zone identified with an Asian ethnic group in 2001, compared with approximately 1 in 100 people in Invercargill. Approximately 1 in 4 people in Porirua and Southern Auckland identified with the Pacific peoples ethnic group. Gisborne and Rotorua urban areas had the highest proportion of Māori (41.6 percent and 37.5 percent, respectively). In Kapiti and Nelson over 94.0 percent of people identified with European ethnic groups, the highest proportion of any main urban area, compared with only 54.1 percent of people in Southern Auckland zone.

Ethnicity(1) (Grouped total responses) by Main Urban Areas
Census of Population and Dwellings, 2001

Table, Ethnicity by Main Urban Areas.

(1) As people may specify more than one ethnic group, the sum may be more than 100 percent.

Main urban areas had the highest proportion of people in any profile area who were born overseas (590,964 people or 23.1 percent of the population). More than a third of those in Central Auckland zone at the time of the 2001 Census were born overseas. The largest group was those who were born in Asia (46,533 people or 13.7 percent).

This cultural diversity also emerges in language. While most people living in main urban areas spoke English (95.5 percent, compared with 96.1 percent nationally) there was a far greater diversity of other languages at the time of the 2001 Census than in other profile areas. Approximately 1 in 5 people in a main urban area could speak a language other than English. Gisborne and Rotorua urban areas had the highest proportion of Māori speakers (13.3 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively), which is consistent with the areas’ ethnic composition. Auckland, which has the largest population of people identifying with the Pacific peoples ethnicity, also had the highest proportion of people speaking Samoan (5.3 percent, compared with 2.3 percent nationally).

Main Urban Area People Speaking a Language Other than English
Census of Population and Dwellings, 2001

Graph, Main Urban Area People Speaking a Language Other than English.

The cultural diversity of main urban areas is reinforced by the variation in religious affiliation. At the time of the 2001 Census, 62.5 percent of people in main urban areas affiliated with the Christian religion, compared with 63.3 percent nationally. These areas had the highest percentage of people affiliating with a non-Christian religion (5.5 percent, compared with 4.4 percent nationally). Auckland had the greatest diversity, with Central Auckland Zone having the highest proportion of people affiliating with the Hindu (4.1 percent, compared with 1.2 percent nationally), Buddhist (3.0 percent, compared with 1.3 percent nationally) and Islam religions (2.6 percent, compared with 0.7 percent nationally). Invercargill had the highest proportion of people affiliating with Christianity (69.5 percent).

Back to New Zealand:an urban/rural profile homepage

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Top
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+