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Census Snapshot: Pacific Peoples

Key Statistics - article, June 2002, pp 9-11

Census Snapshot: Pacific Peoples1

The thirty-first New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings was held on 6 March 2001. The counts for this snapshot are taken from tables prepared for the Ethnic Groups topic-based series report to be published mid-June 2002. The data in this snapshot is for the census usually resident population count.

Overview

One in sixteen or 231,801 people in New Zealand were of Pacific ethnicity at the time of the 2001 Census, according to latest figures from Statistics New Zealand. Half or 115,017 of those Pacific peoples were Samoan, an increase of 34 percent since the 1991 Census. The next largest groups were Cook Island Maori (52,569), Tongan (40,716), Niuean (20,148), Fijian (7,041), Tokelauan (6,204), and Tuvalu Islander (1,965).

Manukau City had the largest count of people of Pacific ethnicity (1 in 4 people in that city were of Pacific ethnicity). This was followed by Auckland (where 1 in 7 people were of Pacific ethnicity), Waitakere City (1 in 7) and Porirua City (1 in 4).

The median age of people of Pacific ethnicity was 21 years, a rise from 20 years at the time of the 1991 Census. While nearly 2 in 5 people of Pacific ethnicity were aged under 15 years, 3 percent were aged 65 years and over.

The median annual income for adults of Pacific ethnicity was $14,800.

Presbyterian was the most common religious denomination for people of Pacific ethnicity, followed by Catholic and Methodist. However, Catholic was the most common religious denomination for people of Samoan, Fijian and Tokelauan ethnicities.

1. Usual resident population count

  • 1 in 16 people (231,801) in New Zealand were of Pacific ethnicity, an increase of 39 percent from the 1991 Census.
  • 1 in 2 people of Pacific ethnicity were Samoan.
  • There were 115,017 people of Samoan ethnicity, an increase of 34 percent from 1991.
  • The next largest groups of Pacific peoples ethnicity were Cook Island Maori (52,569), Tongan (40,716), Niuean (20,148), Fijian (7,041), Tokelauan (6,204), and Tuvalu Islander (1,965).
  • The count of people of Tuvalu Islander ethnicity more than quadrupled between the 1991 and 2001 Censuses, while there was a 75 percent increase in the count of people of Tongan ethnicity.

2. Country of birth

  • 6 in 10 people of Pacific ethnicity were born in New Zealand.
  • 7 in 10 people of Cook Island Maori and Niuean ethnicity were born in New Zealand, compared with 3 in 10 people of Tuvalu Islander ethnicity.
  • Of those born overseas, the median number of years since arriving in New Zealand varied with people of Niuean ethnicity having a median length of 26 years, while people of Tuvalu Islander ethnicity had a median of 4 years.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 overseas-born people of Pacific ethnicity had arrived in New Zealand by 1981, with 3 in 10 having arrived between 1981 and 1990.
  • The New Zealand census count of people of Niuean ethnicity was about 10 times the estimated size of the population of Niue in 2001.
  • The New Zealand census count of people of Tokelauan ethnicity was about four times the estimated size of the population of Tokelau in 2001.
  • The New Zealand census count of people of Cook Island Maori ethnicity was about two and a half times the estimated size of the population of the Cook Islands in 2001.

Graph, Years Since Arrival in New Zealand for Overseas Born Residents.

Table, New Zealand Census Counts by Island Population Estimate.

3. Location

  • Manukau City has the largest count of people of Pacific ethnicity with 72,378 or more than 1 in 4 people in that city.
  • The next largest counts were in Auckland (1 in 7 or 47,619), Waitakere (1 in 7 or 23,241), and Porirua (1 in 4 or 12,228) cities.
  • 2 in 3 people of Pacific ethnicity in New Zealand lived in the Auckland region.
  • 4 in 5 people of Tongan ethnicity in New Zealand lived in the Auckland region, with 1 in 3 in Manukau City and 1 in 3 in Auckland City.
  • 4 in 5 people of Niuean ethnicity in New Zealand lived in the Auckland region, with 1 in 3 in Manukau City and nearly 3 in 10 in Auckland City.
  • 2 in 3 people of Samoan ethnicity in New Zealand lived in the Auckland region, with almost 1 in 3 in Manukau City.
  • 3 in 5 people of Cook Island Maori ethnicity in New Zealand lived in the Auckland region, with 1 in 3 in Manukau City.
  • 3 in 5 people of Fijian ethnicity in New Zealand lived in the Auckland region, with 1 in 4 in Auckland City.
  • Over half of the people of Tokelauan ethnicity in New Zealand lived in the Wellington Region, with nearly 1 in 3 in Porirua City.

Graph, Pacific Peoples Ethnic Group Count by Region.

4. Demographics

  • The median age of people of Pacific ethnicity was 21 years, an increase from 20 years in 1991.
  • The median age for people of Fijian ethnicity was 24 years; Samoan 21 years; Tuvalu Islander and Niuean 20 years; and Tongan, Cook Island Maori and Tokelauan 19 years.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 people of Pacific ethnicity were aged under 15 years.
  • 3 percent of people of Pacific ethnicity were aged 65 years and over.
  • The count of people of Pacific ethnicity aged 65 years and over has doubled between 1991 and 2001.
  • There were 97.0 males of Pacific ethnicity for every 100 females in 2001, compared with 97.3 in 1991.
  • There were 101 males of Tongan ethnicity for every 100 females.

Graph, Age Sex Pyramid for Pacific Peoples Ethnic Group.

5. Religion

  • Presbyterian (Congregational and Reformed) (46,971) was the most common religious denomination for people of Pacific ethnicity. This was followed by Catholic (44,184) and Methodist (27,150).
  • Catholic was the most common religious denomination for people of Samoan (26,934), Fijian (1,590) and Tokelauan (2,145) ethnicities.
  • Presbyterian (Congregational and Reformed) was the most common religious denomination for people of Cook Island Maori (15,582), Niuean (6,609), and Tuvalu Islander (1,062) ethnicities.
  • Methodist was the most common religious denomination for people of Tongan ethnicity (15,402).

6. Income, qualifications and work

  • The median annual income for people aged 15 years and over of Pacific ethnicity was $14,800 for the year ended 31 March 2001.
  • The median annual income for adult males of Pacific ethnicity was $17,800, nearly $5,000 more than the median of $13,000 for females.
  • 1 in 6 adults of Pacific ethnicity had a tertiary qualification as their highest qualification.
  • Nearly 3 in 10 adults of Fijian ethnicity had a tertiary qualification as their highest qualification.
  • Over one half of adults of Samoan ethnicity had a secondary school qualification as their highest qualification.
  • Nearly 2 in 3 adults of Pacific ethnicity were in the labour force.
  • 4 in 5 employed adults of Pacific ethnicity worked full time.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 adults of Fijian ethnicity were in the labour force.
  • The most common occupation groups for adults of Pacific ethnicity was plant and machine operators and assemblers (12,804), followed by service and sales workers (11,382), and clerks (11,097).

More information

The counts for this 2001 Census snapshot are taken from tables prepared for the Ethnic Groups topic-based series report to be published mid- June 2002. There will also be a topic-based series report Pacific Peoples published in August 2002. Detailed counts are also available in a series of tables. These tables are here. Further information about the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings can be found at here.

Footnote

1 This article was prepared by the Social and Population Statistics Group of Statistics New Zealand.

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