The estimated resident population provides the best measure of how many people live in a given area at a given date.
After each census a new estimated resident population base is derived using the census usually resident population count with adjustments for:
- non-response to the census ethnicity question
- net census undercount (as measured by a post-enumeration survey)
- residents temporarily overseas on census night
- births, deaths and net migration between census night and 30 June
- reconciliation with demographic estimates at the youngest ages.
The estimated resident population is not directly comparable with the census usually resident population count because of these adjustments.
The base populations are used in the production of post-censal population estimates and projections. In order to facilitate comparisons between the base populations at 30 June 1996, 2001 and 2006, the same ethnic groups and subnational area boundaries have been applied to each base population. For more information see Variables.
Table Builder tables
Estimated National Ethnic Population by Age and Sex at 30 June 1996, 2001 and 2006
Estimated resident population of New Zealand by ethnicity, age (broad age groups, five-year age groups and single year of age) and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001 and 2006.
Estimated Subnational Ethnic Population (RC,TA) by Age and Sex at 30 June 1996, 2001 and 2006
Estimated resident population of regions and territorial authority areas by ethnicity, age (broad age groups and five-year age groups) and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001 and 2006.
Estimated Subnational Population (RC,TA,AU) by Age and Sex at 30 June 1996, 2001 and 2006
Estimated resident population of regions, territorial authority areas and area units by age (broad age groups and five-year age groups) and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001 and 2006.
Ethnicity is 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.
Estimates are available for five broad ethnic groups:
- European or Other Ethnicity (including New Zealander)
- Pacific Peoples
- Middle Eastern/Latin American/African.
It is important to note that these ethnic groups are not mutually exclusive because people can and do identify with more than one ethnicity. People who identify with more than one ethnicity have been included in each ethnic group.
The 'Māori', 'Pacific Peoples', 'Asian' and 'Middle Eastern/Latin American/African' ethnic groups are defined in Level One of the Standard Classification of Ethnicity 2005. The estimates for the 'European or Other Ethnicity (including New Zealander)' group include people who belong to the 'European' or 'Other Ethnicity' groups defined in Level One of the standard classification. If a person belongs to both the 'European' and 'Other Ethnicity' groups they have only been counted once. Almost all people in the 'Other Ethnicity' group belong to the 'New Zealander' sub-group.
The 1996 and 2001 estimates were based on the Standard Classification of Ethnicity 1996. In order to facilitate comparisons, the 1996, 2001 and 2006 estimates have been classified to the five broad ethnic groups shown above. The relationship between these five broad ethnic groups, and the ethnic groups outlined in the 1996 classification, are shown below.
|Ethnic group in present tables
|| Ethnic group defined in Level One of the Standard Classification of Ethnicity 1996 |
| European or Other Ethnicity (including New Zealander)
|| Māori |
| Pacific Peoples
|| Pacific Peoples |
|| Asian |
| Middle Eastern/Latin American/African
|| Other Ethnicity |
Caution needs to be exercised while interpreting ethnic data. People can identify with different ethnic groups over time. In addition, changes in questionnaire design, classification and coding practice have resulted in some data that is not consistent between 1996, 2001 and 2006. Particular caution needs to be exercised while interpreting population estimates for the 'European or Other Ethnicity' and 'Māori' ethnic groups at 30 June 1996, which were affected by a questionnaire change in the 1996 Census. For further information refer to 2006 Census Information About Ethnicity or the Ethnicity Technical Support Papers.
Users also need to be aware that an annual time series of Māori population estimates is available from 1991. This time series is produced using a different method. For this reason, the estimates of the Māori population at 30 June 1996 differ from the estimates provided in these population base tables.
The population estimates are based on 2006 boundaries.
There are 16 regional council areas (regions). The population of the North Island is the sum of the population of North Island regions. The population of the South Island is the sum of the population of South Island regions.
There are 73 territorial authority areas (16 cities, 56 districts and Chatham Islands Territory).
There are 1,927 area units. Area units are non-administrative areas intermediate in size between meshblocks and territorial authorities. Area units within urban areas generally coincide with suburbs or parts thereof.
Information about rounding
Within the tables, individual figures may not sum to stated totals due to rounding.
The rounding of figures is determined by the total population size of the geographic area. The rounding rules that have been applied are shown below.
|Total population size of geographic area
|| Rounding of single year of age and five-year age group cells
|| Rounding of broad age group and total (all ages) cells |
| Less than 2,000
| 2,000 to 9,999
| 10,000 to 19,999
| 20,000 or more
For example, if a geographic area has a population of 15,000 then single year of age and five-year age group cells will be rounded to the nearest 10, and broad age group and total (all ages) cells will be rounded to the nearest 50.
More information about population estimates: methods, usage and limitations.
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For the estimated resident population of New Zealand by single-year of age and sex, from 1991 onwards, see national population estimates tables.
For historical population estimates by sex back to 1926, see historical population estimates tables.
For the estimated resident population of subnational areas in New Zealand, see subnational population estimates tables.
If the data you require is not available in published tables, you may wish to consider requesting some customised data.
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