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More New Zealanders with qualifications

Image, 2013 census banner.

Nearly four in five New Zealanders have formal qualifications, according to new 2013 Census analysis released today by Statistics New Zealand.

The proportion of people with formal qualifications increased to 79 percent in 2013 – up from 75 percent in 2006 and 72 percent in 2001.

“More people have a qualification, and more are gaining higher levels of formal qualifications. Twenty percent of adults hold a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, compared with 16 percent in 2006,” Census Customer Focus Manager Gareth Meech said.

Wellington city had the highest proportion of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, at 41 percent. Queenstown-Lakes district had the highest percentage of people with a level 5 or 6 diploma, at 12 percent.

More women than men have a post-graduate or honours degree, with women making up 60 percent of this category in 2013. In fact, the percentage of women was higher in most qualification categories. Men, however, made up 71 percent of people with a level 4 certificate qualification (which includes trades certificates).

The proportion of Māori and of Pacific peoples with a qualification is increasing. Almost 67 percent of Māori held a formal qualification in 2013 – up from 60 percent in 2006. For Pacific peoples, the proportion was 70 percent – up from 65 percent in 2006.

Men and women choose different post-school qualification fields of study. “For instance, men are 10 times as likely to study engineering and related technologies as women, while women are nearly five times more likely to study health as men,” Mr Meech said.

Almost 15 percent of New Zealand adults were participating in some kind of study at the time of the census. Of these, 74 percent were studying full-time, up from 66 percent in 2006.

2013 Census QuickStats about education and training has more about highest qualification, post-school qualification field of study, and study participation.

Other key points from the QuickStats report include:

  • Older people were less likely to have formal qualifications.
  • Median personal income was higher for people with a higher qualification.
  • Level 4 certificate had the highest proportion of self-employed people.
  • Management and commerce was the most common post-school qualification field of study.
  • More than half of people in part-time study also worked full-time.


For media enquiries contact: Colin Marshall, Wellington 04 931 4600,

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 12 May 2015

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