National Population Estimates: March 2011 quarter

Technical notes

Population measures

There are three population measures commonly produced by Statistics New Zealand: census night population count, census usually resident population count, and estimated resident population.

The census night population count of New Zealand is a count of all people present in New Zealand on a given census night. This count includes visitors from overseas who are counted on census night, but excludes residents who are temporarily overseas on census night. The census usually resident population count of New Zealand is a count of all people who usually live in New Zealand and are present in New Zealand on a given census night. This count excludes visitors from overseas and residents who are temporarily overseas on census night.

The estimated resident population of New Zealand is an estimate of all people who usually live in New Zealand at a given date. This estimate 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. The population counts published from the census are not comparable with the estimated resident population.

De facto population estimates were produced up until the mid-1990s when they were replaced by the estimated resident population measure. The estimated de facto population of New Zealand includes all people present in New Zealand and counted by the census (census night population count). This estimate includes visitors from overseas who are counted on census night, but excludes New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas. De facto population estimates are available via Infoshare on the Statistics NZ website.

Resident population estimates

The estimated resident population at 30 June 2006 forms the base population for deriving the estimated resident population at a given date following the 2006 Census. This base population is also used to revise intercensal population estimates for the five-year period between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses.

The estimated resident population of New Zealand at 30 June 2006 is based on the census usually resident population count from the 2006 Census (held on 7 March 2006), updated for: net census undercount (as measured by the 2006 Post-enumeration Survey); the number of residents temporarily overseas on census night; births, deaths, and net permanent and long-term (PLT) migration between 7 March 2006 and 30 June 2006; and reconciliation with demographic estimates at ages 0–4 years.

Quarterly estimates from September 2006 onwards were derived by updating the estimated resident population at 30 June 2006 for births, deaths, and net PLT migration during the ensuing period.

Derived figures

Derived figures (for example, percentage annual increase) are calculated using data of greater precision than that published.

Mean population

The average number of people in an area during a given period.

Median age

Half the population is younger, and half older, than this age.

Provisional figures

The estimates in this release are provisional. They incorporate provisional estimates of the number of births and deaths that occurred in the December 2010 and March 2011 quarters. Due to potential late birth and death registrations following the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011, the final population estimates for the December 2010 quarter will not be released until August 2011, to coincide with the June 2011 quarter release. Changes between the provisional and final population estimates are most apparent at the younger and older age groups due to delayed registrations of births and deaths.

Final figures

Final figures for the estimated resident population at 31 December 2010 and 31 March 2011 will be available in August 2011. In addition, population estimates after 30 June 2006 will be revised following results from the next Census of Population and Dwellings.  

More information

For more information, refer to information about the population estimates on the Statistics NZ website.

Quarterly national population estimates by single-year of age, five-year age groups, and selected age groups are available via Infoshare on the Statistics NZ website (demography age estimates in the 'Population' category).

Annual population estimates by age and sex for subnational areas are freely available via Table Builder on the Statistics NZ website.

Population estimates for the Māori ethnic group are updated twice a year on the Statistics NZ website.

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