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Regional Comparison

The Big Cities Project




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 4.12 million at the end of December 2005.

During 2005, the population grew by 37,000 or 0.9 percent. This was a lower rate of growth than that recorded in 2004 (44,500 or 1.1 percent) and lower than the average annual increase during the 10-year period to December 2005 (41,400 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 2005 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 634,000 people to the population between 2005 and 2026.5

Figure P1 Estimated and projected resident population, 1991–2026

Graph showing estimated and projected resident population, 1991 - 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