New population base
The subnational population estimates in this release are based on the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings, and supersede previously published estimates that were based on the 2001 Census. The estimates were obtained by updating the base population at 30 June 2006 for estimated births and deaths of New Zealand residents, net permanent and long-term migration, and estimated internal migration, between 1 July 2006 and 30 June 2007.
The new base population has been used to revise subnational population estimates for the period between 30 June 2001 and 30 June 2006. Details of the base population at 30 June 2006, including the estimated resident population of regional council areas, territorial authority areas and area units, by five-year age group and sex, are available on Statistics New Zealand's website via Table Builder. Revised annual estimates for regional council areas, territorial authority areas, and main urban areas are available on INFOS (DPE).
National population change
New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4,228,000 at 30 June 2007, an increase of 43,400 (1.0 percent) over the June 2006 figure. The population growth for the June 2007 year resulted from a natural increase (excess of births over deaths) of 33,300 people, and a net permanent and long-term migration gain of 10,100 people.
The population growth recorded in the June 2007 year is lower than the average annual increase of 60,800 (1.5 percent) recorded over the five-year period to 30 June 2006. In this five-year period, net migration accounted for an estimated gain of 160,000 people, or just over half the total population growth. The net migration gain in this five-year period was significantly higher than average – in the 35 years ended 30 June 2006, net migration accounted for just one-fifth of estimated population growth.
North and South Island populations
An estimated 3,219,000 people lived in the North Island at 30 June 2007, an increase of 33,800 (1.1 percent) from 30 June 2006. The estimated resident population of the South Island grew by 9,600 (1.0 percent) in the June 2007 year to reach 1,008,400, exceeding one million for the first time.
The South Island achieved this population milestone following several years of sustained population growth. During the five-year period ended 30 June 2006, the South Island's population grew by 63,400, an average annual population growth of 12,700 (1.3 percent). Net migration accounted for 67.9 percent of the South Island's population growth in this period, and for more than half of the population growth in five of the South Island's seven regions: Marlborough (84.6 percent), Otago (74.2 percent), Canterbury (71.5 percent), Tasman (65.7 percent) and the West Coast (54.8 percent). In contrast, just under half (48.7 percent) of the North Island's population growth in this period was due to net migration.
Rapid population growth in several territorial authority areas has contributed to the South Island’s population increase. During the five-year period ended 30 June 2006, four territorial authority areas in the South Island had an average annual growth rate of 3.0 percent or greater (Queenstown-Lakes, Selwyn, Waimakariri and Central Otago districts). Queenstown-Lakes District and Selwyn District were New Zealand’s fastest-growing territorial authority areas during this five-year period, and they have maintained this position in the June 2007 year.
During the June 2007 year, New Zealand's fastest-growing region (Auckland) and main urban area (Tauranga) were located in the North Island. At 30 June 2007, 76 out of every 100 New Zealand residents lived in the North Island.
Regional population change
Twelve of the 16 regions recorded population increases during the June 2007 year. Of these 12 regions, the largest numerical increases in population were in Auckland (23,000), Canterbury (6,800), Wellington (4,000), Waikato (3,400), Bay of Plenty (2,300), Otago (1,900) and Northland (1,200).
Auckland (1.7 percent) and Canterbury (1.3 percent) had growth rates above the national average of 1.0 percent in the June 2007 year. Ten regions had positive growth rates at or below the national average: Marlborough (1.0 percent), Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Otago (0.9 percent each), Northland and Tasman (0.8 percent each), West Coast (0.5 percent) and Hawke's Bay and Nelson (0.3 percent each). The Gisborne, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui and Southland regions had population decreases.
In the June 2007 year, all 16 regions had gains from natural increase (excess of births over deaths) and ten regions had gains from net migration (internal and external migration combined). There were three regions that received more than half their population growth through net migration (Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago). Six regions had net migration losses ranging from 100 people (Nelson) to 1,600 people (Manawatu-Wanganui).
The Auckland Region, with an estimated resident population of 1,394,000 at 30 June 2007, was home to about one-third of New Zealand residents. The four northernmost regions (Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty) contained just over half (52.4 percent) of the New Zealand resident population. The Canterbury Region, with an estimated resident population of 546,900, was home to 54.2 percent of South Island residents.
Population of territorial authorities
The combined population of the 16 cities grew by 31,300 (1.2 percent) during the June 2007 year to reach 2,554,700, while the combined population of the districts grew by 12,100 (0.7 percent) to reach 1,672,200. The proportion of New Zealand residents living in cities at 30 June 2007 was 60.4 percent, compared with 59.5 percent at 30 June 2001.
In the June 2007 year, 51 of the 73 territorial authorities had population increases, and 22 had growth rates at or above the 1.0 percent national average. The highest rates of population growth were in Queenstown-Lakes District (5.5 percent), Selwyn District (4.0 percent), Rodney District (2.4 percent), Waimakariri District (2.3 percent), Manukau City and Franklin District (2.2 percent each), Central Otago District (2.1 percent), Tauranga City (2.0 percent) and Papakura District (1.7 percent).
Among the remaining 22 territorial authorities, there was no change to the estimated resident population of two territorial authority areas (Clutha District and Invercargill City) while 20 territorial authority areas had population decreases. Rates of population decrease ranged from 0.1 percent (Gisborne and Horowhenua districts) to 1.8 percent (Ruapehu District).
Two maps are included at the end of this commentary. The maps illustrate population change in New Zealand's territorial authority areas during the June 2007 year.
At 30 June 2007, the estimated resident population of the 16 main urban areas was 3,053,100 (72.2 percent of New Zealand's population). A further 250,100 people lived in secondary urban areas (5.9 percent of New Zealand's population). The main and secondary urban populations increased by 36,100 (1.2 percent) and 700 (0.3 percent), respectively, during the June 2007 year.
The four largest urban areas – Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch – were home to 53.1 percent of New Zealand residents at 30 June 2007, up from 51.6 percent at 30 June 2001. The Auckland Urban Area is now home to 40 out of every 100 North Island residents. The Christchurch Urban Area is home to 38 out of every 100 South Island residents.
In the June 2007 year, Tauranga (1.9 percent) was the fastest-growing main urban area, followed by Auckland (1.7 percent), Hamilton (1.6 percent), Kapiti (1.4 percent), and Christchurch (1.1 percent). Eight main urban areas recorded positive growth rates below the national average of 1.0 percent, and three main urban areas – Rotorua, Wanganui and Invercargill – had population decreases.
Seven of the 14 secondary urban areas recorded positive growth rates, ranging between 0.1 percent (Timaru) and 2.9 percent (Pukekohe), during the June 2007 year. Six secondary urban areas recorded population decreases, ranging from less than 0.5 percent (Whakatane, Levin and Masterton) to 2.0 percent (Tokoroa). There was no change to the estimated resident population of Oamaru.
After each census Statistics New Zealand creates a new base population and uses this to derive post-censal population estimates. The recent transition to the 2006 base population ensures that estimates are based on the latest information available.
The difference between 2006-base and 2001-base population estimates at 30 June 2006 is known as intercensal discrepancy. At the national level there is an intercensal discrepancy of 45,100, with the 2006-base estimate of New Zealand's resident population (4,184,600) being significantly higher than the 2001-base estimate (4,139,500). Consequently, for many subnational areas, the 2006-base estimate at 30 June 2006 exceeds the 2001-base estimate that was published previously.
At the regional level, the 2006-base estimate at 30 June 2006 exceeds the 2001-base estimate for 14 of New Zealand's 16 regions. Of these 14 regions, Auckland (12,900), Waikato (7,500) and Canterbury (7,100) have the greatest intercensal discrepancy in numerical terms. When intercensal discrepancy is expressed as a proportion of each region's population, this proportion is greatest for the West Coast (4.9 percent). For two regions – Tasman and Nelson – the 2006-base estimate at 30 June 2006 is lower than the 2001-base estimate that was published previously.
The population estimates for the June 2007 year quoted above and contained in the appended tables are provisional. Processing of final statistics will be completed in November 2007.
For technical information contact:
Alan Ambury or Joel Watkins
Christchurch 03 964 8700