Over three-quarters (76 percent) of the population live in the North Island, and nearly a third (32 percent) in the Auckland region.
Reflecting the impact of migration, growth in the population of the Auckland region accounted for just over two-thirds (68 percent) of the total population growth over the period between the 1996 and 2001 censuses.
The Māori population is heavily concentrated in the North Island (88 percent), but only 24 percent of Māori live in the Auckland region.
The New Zealand population is highly urbanised. At the 2001 Census, 86 percent of the population were living in an urban area. This includes 71 percent living in main urban areas (population 30,000 or more), 6 percent living in secondary urban areas (10,000-30,000) and 8 percent living in minor urban areas (1,000-10,000).
There are marked ethnic differences in urbanisation, with the vast majority of Pacific, Asian and Other ethnic groups living in main urban areas and very few in rural areas.
Table P1 Urban and rural residence (%), by ethnic group, 2001
|Main urban area (30,000+)||69||64||92||94||92||71|
| Secondary urban area
|Minor urban area (1,000-9,999)||9||13||2||2||2||8|
Source: Statistics New Zealand, 2001 Census, Ethnic Groups, Table 5a