The social report monitors outcomes for the New Zealand population. This section
contains background information on the size and characteristics of the population
to provide a context for the indicators that follow.
Population size and growth
New Zealand's resident population reached 4 million in April 2003 and was estimated to be
4.08 million at the end of December 2004.
During the 2004 year, the population grew by 44,800 or 1.1 percent. This
was a lower rate of growth than that recorded in 2003 (63,500 or 1.6 percent)
but still marginally higher than the average annual increase during the 10-year
period to December 2004 (43,600 or 1.1 percent).
Under 2004-based medium population projection assumptions, the population
is expected to grow by an average of 0.8 percent per year between 2004 and
2011. Natural increase (births minus deaths) will account for four-fifths of
this growth, and net migration the remaining fifth. Assuming net migration
of 10,000 people per year after that, the growth rate is expected to slow to
0.7 percent per year for the next 15 years. Such a growth rate would add around
669,000 people to the population between 2004 and 2026.5
Figure P1 Historical
and projected resident population, 1986–2026
Source: Statistics New Zealand Note: All three projections assume medium mortality. The medium projection
series assumes medium fertility and
a long-term annual net migration gain of 10,000