National Ethnic Population Projections: 2006(base)–2026 update

Technical notes

Ethnic concept

The ethnic concept used in these projections is the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group. For example, people can identify with Māori ethnicity even though they may not be descended from a Māori ancestor. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with Māori ethnicity even though they are descended from a Māori ancestor. Ethnicity is not the same as birthplace.

For more information about ethnicity, refer to the Review of the Measurement of Ethnicity which includes information about the Statistical Standard for Ethnicity 2005.

2006 Census

The 2006 Census asked people "Which ethnic group do you belong to? Mark the space or spaces which apply to you." The census usually resident population count of 4,027,947 included 2,997,930 people who identified with a European or Other ethnicity, 565,329 who identified with the Māori ethnicity, 354,552 who identified with an Asian ethnicity, 265,974 who identified with a Pacific ethnicity, 34,746 who identified with a Middle Eastern/Latin American/African (MELAA) ethnicity, and 167,784 who gave no specific ethnic response.

At the 2006 Census, the number of people identifying with various European or Other ethnicities was: New Zealand European 2,381,076, New Zealander 429,429, English 44,202, Dutch 28,641, British not further defined 27,189, Australian 26,355, European not further defined 21,858, South African not elsewhere classified 21,609, Scottish 15,039, Irish 12,651, German 10,917, American 10,806, and other European or Other groups 55,260. There were 80,088 people who identified with more than one European or Other ethnicity (eg Irish and New Zealander). Of the 2,997,930 European or Other people, 10 percent (302,997) also identified with non-European and non-Other ethnicities. While 84 percent (2,500,047) of people who stated a birthplace were born in New Zealand, 11 percent (314,076) were born in Europe (including the United Kingdom).

Of the 565,329 people identifying with Māori ethnicity at the 2006 Census, 47 percent (266,934) also identified with non-Māori ethnicities. Of those respondents who stated a birthplace, 98 percent (547,302) were born in New Zealand.

At the 2006 Census, the number identifying with various Asian ethnicities was: Chinese (including Taiwanese, etc) 147,570, Indian (including Fijian Indian, etc) 104,583, Korean 30,792, Filipino 16,938, Japanese 11,910, Sri Lankan (including Sinhalese, etc) 8,310, Cambodian 6,918, Thai 6,057, Vietnamese 4,773, Malay 3,540, Indonesian 3,261, and other Asian groups 13,674. There were 3,867 people who identified with more than one Asian ethnicity (eg Chinese and Indian). Of the 354,552 Asian people, 9 percent (32,097) also identified with non-Asian ethnicities. While 20 percent (70,650) of people who stated a birthplace were born in New Zealand, 68 percent (240,537) were born in Asia.

At the 2006 Census, the number of people identifying with various Pacific ethnicities was: Samoan 131,103, Cook Islands Maori (including Rarotongan, etc) 58,008, Tongan 50,481, Niuean 22,476, Fijian 9,864, Tokelauan 6,819, and other Pacific groups 8,907. There were 19,890 people who identified with more than one Pacific ethnicity (eg Samoan and Tongan). Of the 265,974 Pacific people, 30 percent (79,596) also identified with non-Pacific ethnicities. While 60 percent (157,200) of people who stated a birthplace were born in New Zealand, 39 percent (103,176) were born elsewhere in Oceania (including Australia).

For more ethnicity information from the 2006 Census, refer to QuickStats About Culture and Identity and classification counts for ethnic group.

European or Other

Projections have been derived for the 'European or Other (including New Zealander)' ethnic group. Projections are not available for the European ethnic group, or for the Other (including New Zealander) ethnic group. This reflects that sufficient demographic data is available to enable projection assumptions to be derived for the combined ethnic grouping, but not for the separate ethnic groups. This approach is consistent with Guidelines for Using Ethnicity Data: 2006 Census.

Base population

The 'European or Other (including New Zealander)' population projections have as a base the estimated resident population of European or Other ethnicities of New Zealand at 30 June 2006. This population (3,213,000) was based on the census usually resident population count (2,997,930) at 7 March 2006 with adjustments for:

  1. non-response to the census ethnicity question (+121,000)
  2. net census undercount (+50,000)
  3. residents temporarily overseas on census night (+41,000)
  4. births, deaths and net migration between census night (7 March 2006) and 30 June 2006 (+2,000)
  5. reconciliation with demographic estimates at ages 0–4 years (+2,000).

The Māori population projections have as a base the estimated resident population of Māori ethnicity of New Zealand at 30 June 2006. This population (624,000) was based on the census usually resident population count (565,329) at 7 March 2006 with adjustments for:

  1. non-response to the census ethnicity question (+27,800)
  2. net census undercount (+18,900)
  3. residents temporarily overseas on census night (+7,000)
  4. births, deaths and net migration between census night (7 March 2006) and 30 June 2006 (+4,500)
  5. reconciliation with demographic estimates at ages 0–4 years (+800).

The Asian population projections have as a base the estimated resident population of Asian ethnicities of New Zealand at 30 June 2006. This population (404,400) was based on the census usually resident population count (354,552) at 7 March 2006 with adjustments for:

  1. non-response to the census ethnicity question (+17,300)
  2. net census undercount (+13,600)
  3. residents temporarily overseas on census night (+14,900)
  4. births, deaths and net migration between census night (7 March 2006) and 30 June 2006 (+3,700)
  5. reconciliation with demographic estimates at ages 0–4 years (+300).

The Pacific population projections have as a base the estimated resident population of Pacific ethnicities of New Zealand at 30 June 2006. This population (301,600) was based on the census usually resident population count (265,974) at 7 March 2006 with adjustments for:

  1. non-response to the census ethnicity question (+18,100)
  2. net census undercount (+9,100)
  3. residents temporarily overseas on census night (+4,900)
  4. births, deaths and net migration between census night (7 March 2006) and 30 June 2006 (+3,000)
  5. reconciliation with demographic estimates at ages 0–4 years (+500).

The estimated and projected resident populations are not directly comparable with census counts because of these adjustments. For more information about the base population, refer to Information about the population estimates on the Statistics New Zealand website (www.stats.govt.nz).

Alternative series

For each ethnic group, eleven alternative series have been produced using different combinations of fertility, mortality, migration and inter-ethnic mobility assumptions. At the time of release, projection series 6 is considered the most suitable for assessing future population changes. The other projection series allow users to assess the impact on population size and structure resulting from changes in the assumptions for each of the components of population change. Series 2, 6, and 10 can be used for assessing the effect of the different fertility assumptions; series 3, 6, and 9 allow for a comparative mortality analysis; series 4, 6, and 8 allow for alternative migration levels; and series 5, 6, and 7 allow for different inter-ethnic mobility rates.

Series 1 and 11 give the lowest and highest projected population, respectively, based on the adopted assumptions. Series 1 uses low fertility, high mortality, low migration, and high inter-ethnic mobility. Series 11 uses high fertility, low mortality, high migration, and low inter-ethnic mobility.

Method

A special 'cohort component' method has been used to derive the population projections. In this method the base population is projected forward by calculating the effect of deaths, migration, and inter-ethnic mobility within each age-sex group according to specified mortality, migration, and inter-ethnic mobility assumptions. New birth cohorts are generated by applying specified fertility assumptions to the female population of childbearing age, and specified paternity assumptions to the male population.

The method differs from the conventional cohort component method in two respects:

  1. For each ethnic group, births are projected separately for women, and for men where the mother is not of that ethnic group.
  2. The projections allow for population change due to inter-ethnic mobility (ie people changing their ethnic identification over time).

Projection assumptions

Projection assumptions are formulated after analysis of short-term and long-term historical trends, recent trends and patterns observed in other countries, government policy, and other relevant information. For more information about the projections, including a summary table of assumptions, refer to Information about the demographic projections on the Statistics New Zealand website (www.stats.govt.nz).

Fertility

The fertility assumptions are formulated relative to those adopted in the national population projections, 2009(base)–2061. A sex ratio at birth of 105.5 males per 100 females is assumed, based on the historical annual average of the total population.

European or Other (including New Zealander)

There are three alternative fertility variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that fertility rates for European or Other women will vary until the year 2026 when the total fertility rate will reach 1.65, 1.85, and 2.05 births per woman, respectively. The corresponding total paternity rate of European or Other men (with non-European and non-Other women) is assumed to reach 0.115, 0.165, and 0.215 births per man in 2026. The estimated rates in 2005–07 were 1.92 births per European or Other woman and 0.14 births per European or Other man (with non-European and non-Other women).

The medium fertility variant assumes fertility rates of European or Other women aged under 33 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 33 years and over. The low fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 34 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 34 years and over. The high fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 31 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 31 years and over.

The medium paternity variant assumes paternity rates of European or Other men aged under 35 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 35 years and over. The low paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men of most ages will generally decline between 2007 and 2026. The high paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men aged under 32 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 32 years and over.

Assumed Total Fertility Rates

Assumed Total Paternity Rates

 

Projected births are reduced to allow for births to European or Other parent(s) that are not registered as European or Other children. The low, medium, and high variants assume that 1.6, 2.1, and 2.6 percent, respectively, of births to European or Other parent(s) are non-European and non-Other children.

Māori

There are three alternative fertility variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that fertility rates for Māori women will vary until the year 2026 when the total fertility rate will reach 2.20, 2.50, and 2.80 births per woman, respectively. The corresponding total paternity rate of Māori men (with non-Māori women) is assumed to reach 0.80, 0.95, and 1.10 births per man in 2026. The estimated rates in 2005–07 were 2.78 births per Māori woman and 0.97 births per Māori man (with non-Māori women).

The medium fertility variant assumes fertility rates of Māori women aged under 31 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 31 years and over. The low fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 34 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 34 years and over. The high fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 29 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 29 years and over.

The medium paternity variant assumes paternity rates of Māori men aged under 35 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 35 years and over. The low paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men aged under 42 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 42 years and over. The high paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men aged under 33 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 33 years and over.

Projected births are reduced to allow for births to Māori parent(s) that are not registered as Māori children. The low, medium, and high variants assume that 3.4, 3.9, and 4.4 percent, respectively, of births to Māori parent(s) are non-Māori children.

Asian

There are three alternative fertility variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that fertility rates for Asian women will vary until the year 2026 when the total fertility rate will reach 1.30, 1.50, and 1.70 births per Asian woman, respectively. The corresponding total paternity rate of Asian men (with non-Asian women) is assumed to reach 0.18, 0.23, and 0.28 births per man in 2026. The estimated rates in 2005–07 were 1.52 births per Asian woman and 0.20 births per Asian man (with non-Asian women).

The medium fertility variant assumes fertility rates of Asian women aged under 31 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 31 years and over. The low fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 34 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 34 years and over. The high fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 28 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 28 years and over.

The medium paternity variant assumes paternity rates of Asian men aged under 33 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 33 years and over. The low paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men of most ages will generally decline between 2007 and 2026. The high paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men aged under 31 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 31 years and over.

Projected births are reduced to allow for births to Asian parent(s) which are not registered as Asian children. The low, medium, and high variants assume that 2.9, 3.4, and 3.9 percent, respectively, of births to Asian parent(s) are non-Asian children.

Pacific

There are three alternative fertility variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that fertility rates for Pacific women will vary until the year 2026 when the total fertility rate will reach 2.35, 2.65, and 2.95 births per Pacific woman, respectively. The corresponding total paternity rate of Pacific men (with non-Pacific women) is assumed to reach 0.85, 1.00, and 1.15 births per man in 2026. The estimated rates in 2005–07 were 2.95 births per Pacific woman and 1.05 births per Pacific man (with non-Pacific women).

The medium fertility variant assumes fertility rates of Pacific women aged under 32 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 32 years and over. The low fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 40 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 40 years and over. The high fertility variant assumes fertility rates of women aged under 29 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for women aged 29 years and over.

The medium paternity variant assumes paternity rates of Pacific men aged under 34 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 34 years and over. The low paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men aged under 45 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 45 years and over. The high paternity variant assumes paternity rates of men aged under 31 years will generally decline between 2007 and 2026, with rates increasing for men aged 31 years and over.

Projected births are reduced to allow for births to Pacific parent(s) that are not registered as Pacific children. The low, medium, and high variants assume that 2.6, 3.1, and 3.6 percent, respectively, of births to Pacific parent(s) are non-Pacific children.

Mortality

The mortality assumptions are formulated relative to those adopted in the national population projections, 2009(base)–2061, which were derived using a new method. In those national population projections, the assumptions are essentially driven by observed trends in death rates by birth cohort, age, and sex. Death rates change at different rates at different ages over the projection period. Previously, the assumed rates of change were the same at all ages.

The assumed ethnic life expectancies should not be used as a precise measure of ethnic mortality or of mortality differentials between ethnic groups. It is important to note that the objective of population projections is not to specifically measure or project the life expectancy of the population. For projection purposes it is more important to have a realistic yet tractable model for projecting mortality trends (and death numbers) into the future.

European or Other (including New Zealander)

There are three alternative mortality variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that mortality rates will continue to drop so that the life expectancy at birth for European or Other males will increase to 83.7, 82.2, and 80.7 years, respectively, in 2026. The corresponding life expectancies at birth for European or Other females will be 86.6, 85.4, and 84.3 years in 2026. The medium mortality variant assumes life expectancy at birth in 2007 was 79.1 years for European or Other males and 83.0 years for European or Other females.

Mortality rates are assumed to decrease at different rates at different ages. Between 2007 and 2026, European or Other male mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.7, 1.9, and 1.1 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively. By comparison, European or Other female mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.7, 2.0, and 1.2 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively.

Assumed Male Life Expectancy at Birth Assumed Female Life Expectancy at Birth
 
Māori

There are three alternative mortality variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that mortality rates will continue to drop so that the life expectancy at birth for Māori males will increase to 76.9, 75.4, and 73.9 years, respectively, in 2026. The corresponding life expectancies at birth for Māori females will be 80.4, 79.2, and 78.0 years in 2026. The medium mortality variant assumes life expectancy at birth in 2007 was 70.8 years for Māori males and 75.6 years for Māori females.

Mortality rates are assumed to decrease at different rates at different ages. Between 2007 and 2026, Māori male mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.6, 2.0, and 1.4 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively. By comparison, Māori female mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.2, 1.7, and 1.2 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively.

Asian

There are three alternative mortality variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that mortality rates will continue to drop so that the life expectancy at birth for Asian males will increase to 88.1, 86.6, and 85.1 years, respectively, in 2026. The corresponding life expectancies at birth for Asian females will be 90.9, 89.7, and 88.5 years in 2026. The medium mortality variant assumes life expectancy at birth in 2007 was 83.7 years for Asian males and 87.3 years for Asian females.

Mortality rates are assumed to decrease at different rates at different ages. Between 2007 and 2026, Asian male mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.7, 1.9, and 1.2 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively. By comparison, Asian female mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.8, 2.1, and 1.4 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively.

Pacific

There are three alternative mortality variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume that mortality rates will continue to drop so that the life expectancy at birth for Pacific males will increase to 78.5, 77.0, and 75.5 years, respectively, in 2026. The corresponding life expectancies at birth for Pacific females will be 81.6, 80.4, and 79.3 years in 2026. The medium mortality variant assumes life expectancy at birth in 2007 was 73.3 years for Pacific males and 77.4 years for Pacific females.

Mortality rates are assumed to decrease at different rates at different ages. Between 2007 and 2026, Pacific male mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.5, 1.9, and 1.2 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively. By comparison, Pacific female mortality rates are assumed to decrease by an average of 2.4, 1.8, and 1.2 percent per year for the low, medium, and high mortality variants, respectively.

Migration

Ethnicity is not collected in external migration data, but the migration assumptions are based on an assessment of recent and expected trends of arrivals and departures of New Zealand citizens and non-New Zealand citizens by birthplace, as well as observed intercensal ethnic population change.

Asumed Net Migration

European or Other (including New Zealander)

There are three alternative migration variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume long-run annual net migration of European or Other people of -8,000, -3,000, and 2,000, respectively. The medium migration variant assumes net migration of European or Other people of -3,000 in 2007, -9,000 in 2008, -4,000 in 2009, 11,000 in 2010, 5,000 in 2011, and 1,000 in 2012. The low and high migration variants are 5,000 lower and higher, respectively, than the medium variant for each year.

The age-sex patterns of net migration assume the highest net outflows at ages 20–25 years, associated with New Zealanders embarking on overseas travel. The highest net inflows are assumed at ages 28–33 years associated with returning New Zealanders.

Māori

There are three alternative migration variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume long-run annual net migration of Māori people of -4,000, -3,000, and -2,000, respectively. The medium migration variant assumes net migration of Māori people of -4,500 in 2007, -5,500 in 2008, -4,000 in 2009, -2,000 in 2010, and -2,000 in 2011. The low and high variants are 1,000 lower and higher, respectively, than the medium variant for each year.

The age-sex patterns of net migration assume net outflows at all ages, with the highest net outflows at ages 19–26 years.

Asian

There are three alternative migration variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume long-run annual net migration of Asian people of 6,000, 12,000, and 18,000, respectively. The medium migration variant assumes net migration of Asian people of 13,000 in 2007, 15,000 in 2008, and 16,000 in 2009. The low and high variants are 6,000 lower and higher, respectively, than the medium variant for each year.

The age-sex patterns of net migration assume net inflows at most ages, with the highest net inflows at ages 15–22 years partly associated with students arriving for educational purposes.

Pacific

There are three alternative migration variants – designated low, medium, and high – which assume long-run annual net migration of Pacific people of 0, 500, and 1,000, respectively. The medium migration variant assumes net migration of Pacific people of 1,000 in 2007. The low and high migration variants are 500 lower and higher, respectively, than the medium variant for each year.

The age-sex patterns of net migration assume the highest net inflows at ages under 20 years and the highest net outflows at ages 22–26 years.

Inter-ethnic mobility

The projections make an allowance for people changing their ethnic identification over time. Comparisons of demographic estimates and census populations during 1966–2006 suggest that inter-ethnic mobility generally resulted in a loss from the Māori population of between 0.3 and 0.9 percent per year. However, changes in census questionnaire design, ethnicity classification and coding make it difficult to measure inter-ethnic mobility, especially as there are no explicit estimates of ethnic migration. In some periods there has been greater awareness of Māori issues which may have increased the propensity of people to identify with Māori ethnicity. The 2006-base medium variant assumes inter-ethnic mobility loss from the Māori population, with lower rates of loss from the Asian and Pacific populations, and no loss from the European or Other population.

There are three alternative inter-ethnic mobility variants – designated low, medium, and high – for each ethnic group which assume a net change due to people changing their ethnic identification at an average annual rate (in 2007):

  • for the European or Other population of 0.2, 0, and -0.2 percent, respectively
  • for the Māori population of 0, -0.3, and -0.6 percent, respectively
  • for the Asian population of 0, -0.2, and -0.4 percent, respectively
  • for the Pacific population of 0, -0.2, and -0.4 percent, respectively.

Because age-specific rates are applied, the overall net change varies over time and from series to series. The age pattern of inter-ethnic mobility is applied to each sex and assumes the highest net mobility at ages 12–26 years.

Nature of projections

Demographic projections are designed to meet both short-term and long-term planning needs, but are not designed to be exact forecasts or to project specific annual variation. These population projections are based on assumptions made about future fertility, mortality, migration, and inter-ethnic mobility patterns of the population. Although the assumptions are carefully formulated to represent future trends, they are subject to uncertainty. Therefore, the projections should be used as guidelines and an indication of the overall trend, rather than as exact forecasts.

The projections do not take into account non-demographic factors (eg war, catastrophes, major government and business decisions) which may invalidate the projections. Demographic trends are monitored regularly and, when it is necessary, the projections are revised to reflect new trends and to maintain their relevance and usefulness.

Projections of ethnic populations are more uncertain than projections of the total population for several reasons:

  1. Ethnic identification can change over time. This may reflect a person's cultural affiliations changing over time. Or, it may occur when different people respond to the ethnicity question. For example, the ethnicity of babies and young children is usually identified by their parents. However, in a later census when these children are old enough to complete their own forms, they will decide for themselves which ethnicity they identify with. This may differ from the ethnicity identified by their parents. Inter-ethnic mobility can also occur when different ethnicities are reported in different collections (eg birth registration form, death registration form, census form) for a person.
  2. There are greater difficulties in establishing past trends in fertility, mortality and migration. Different ethnicities can be reported in different collections (eg birth registration form, death registration form, census form), which makes the derivation of ethnic-specific fertility and mortality rates problematic. Furthermore, the measurement of ethnicity has changed over time in many collections, while it is not captured at all in some collections (eg external migration data).
  3. Ethnic populations are not mutually exclusive because people can and do identify with more than one ethnicity. People are not asked to prioritise their ethnic responses. Hence, Statistics New Zealand includes people in each of their reported ethnic groups.
  4. There is the added complication of births to parents of different ethnicities. The child may be considered by the parents to belong to one or more of their ethnicities, or indeed to another ethnicity.
  5. There is greater future uncertainty about the components of population change. For example, it is uncertain whether the fertility and mortality of different ethnicities will converge, and if so, at what pace. Assumptions about future migration, notably for people of Asian and Pacific ethnicities, are particularly susceptible to changes in migration patterns.

Statistics New Zealand incorporates these issues into its methodology for ethnic population projections and develops alternative projection scenarios to illustrate uncertainty. However, it is because of these issues that ethnic population projections are limited to broad ethnic groups and the given projection period. For smaller ethnic populations it is difficult to derive robust measures of fertility and mortality and the other components of ethnic population change to enable projections to be readily produced.

Rounding

All projected populations in the tables in this release have been rounded independently to the nearest 1,000.

Definitions

Estimated resident population: an estimate of all people who usually live in a given area at a given date. It includes all residents present in New Zealand and counted by the census (census usually resident population count), residents who are temporarily overseas (who are not included in the census), and an adjustment for residents missed or counted more than once by the census (net census undercount). Visitors from overseas are excluded.

Ethnicity: the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality or citizenship. Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group.

Inter-ethnic mobility: people changing their ethnic identification over time. This may reflect a person's cultural affiliations changing over time. Or, it may occur when different people respond to the ethnicity question. For example, the ethnicity of babies and young children is usually identified by their parents. However, in a later census when these children are old enough to complete their own forms, they will decide for themselves which ethnicity they identify with. This may differ from the ethnicity identified by their parents. Inter-ethnic mobility can also occur when different ethnicities are reported in different collections (eg birth registration form, death registration form, census form) for a person.

Life expectancy: the average length of life remaining at a given age. In a period life table, it is the average length of life from a given age, assuming people experience the age-specific mortality rates of a given period from that given age onwards.

Resident population concept: a statistical basis for a population in terms of those who usually live in a given area at a given time. The census usually resident population count is a census measure of the resident population concept, and the estimated resident population is a demographic measure of the resident population concept. In terms of vital statistics, the resident population concept refers to events that relate to residents of New Zealand only.

Total fertility rate: the average number of live births that a woman would have during her life if she experienced the age-specific fertility rates of a given period (usually a year).

Total paternity rate: as used in the Māori population projections, for example, it is the average number of live births that a Māori man would have with non-Māori women during his life if he experienced the age-specific paternity rates of a given period (usually a year).

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