Future New Zealand censuses: Implications of changing census frequency or adopting other models

Future New Zealand censuses: Implications of changing census frequency or adopting other models informs discussion about the potential for adopting different approaches to census-taking in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings forms the cornerstone of population and social statistics in New Zealand. The primary purpose of a census is to provide an authoritative count of the population at a given point in time. The other unique role of the census is to provide comprehensive information on the characteristics of small geographic areas and local communities, and for small populations such as iwi, Pacific peoples, older New Zealanders, and migrant communities.

Out-of-date census information or poor quality population statistics can lead to a shifting of costs to government departments and others who rely on the census. Different approaches to census-taking involve trade-offs between the overall quality of census information, the cost, complexity and timeframes required for change, and long-term across-government costs. The paper provides a high-level overview of these trade-offs in the New Zealand context for six particular census models.

ISBN 978-0-478-37738-5 (online)

Published: 17 November 2011