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Households

The number of households has increased by 6.6 percent since 2006. In 2013, New Zealand had 1,549,890 households, up from 1,454,175 in 2006.

The census definition of a household is either one person who usually lives alone, or two or more people who usually live together and share facilities (such as for eating or cooking) in a private dwelling. A household may contain one or more families, other people in addition to a family, or no families at all, such as unrelated people living together.

Household composition
2001, 2006, and 2013 Censuses  
Household composition  2001 Census  2006 Census  2013 Census 
Percent 
One-family household(1)  69.1  69.1  68.3 
Two-family household(1)  2.0  2.6  3.1 
Three or more family household(1)  0.1  0.2  0.2 
Other multi-person household(2)  5.4  5.1  4.8 
One-person household  23.4  23.0  23.5 

1. With or without other people.

2. A group of people living together who did not form a family, for example siblings or flatmates.

Source: Statistics New Zealand  

Over two-thirds of households contain one family

Over two-thirds (68.3 percent) of households contained one family (with or without other people) in 2013 – down slightly from 69.1 percent in 2006.

The Tasman regional council had the highest proportion of one-family (with or without other people) households, at 72.5 percent. The West Coast region had the lowest, at 64.5 percent.

One-person households highest in West Coast region

The percentage of households consisting of one person showed little change between 2001 and 2013. One-person households made up 23.5 percent of households in 2013.

The West Coast region had the highest percentage of one-person households, at 30.7 percent, followed by the Manawatu-Wanganui region, at 28.2 percent.

The Auckland region had the lowest proportion of one-person households, at 19.0 percent.

Women more likely than men to live alone

Women were more likely than men to live in one-person households, with women making up 57.4 percent of one-person households.

Most people living alone are aged 45 years and over

Most people (79.9 percent) in one-person households were aged 45 years and over.

Of people in one-person households:

  • 2.9 percent were aged under 25 years
  • 17.2 percent were aged 25–44 years
  • 35.6 percent were aged 45–64 years
  • 44.3 percent were aged 65 years and over.

More younger men than younger women live alone. Of people who live alone, men make up 57.1 percent of the under-25 age group, and 58.0 percent of the 25–44 age group.

In the 45 years and over age groups, more women than men live alone. Women make up 51.9 percent of 45–64-year-olds who live alone, and 68.7 percent of those aged 65 and over who live alone.

Graph, Sex and age group of people in one-person households, 2013 Census.

Two- or three-family households not very common

The percentage of households containing two families (with or without other people) has increased since 2001. In 2013, 3.1 percent of households had two families. Although up from 2.0 percent in 2001, these households still make up a relatively small proportion of households.

Of all two-family households in New Zealand, just over half (51.9 percent) were in the Auckland region.

Households with three or more families were very rare, at 0.2 percent of all households in 2013.

Otago region has highest percentage of other multi-person households

The percentage of other multi-person households (groups of people living together who do not form a family, for example siblings or flatmates) has decreased slightly. In 2013, 4.8 percent of households were other multi-person households, down from 5.4 percent in 2001.

The Otago region had the highest proportion of other multi-person households, at 6.6 percent.

The regions with the next-highest percentages of other multi-person households were:

  • Wellington – 5.7 percent
  • Auckland – 5.2 percent
  • Canterbury – 5.0 percent.

Average household size still 2.7 people

In 2013, the average household size in New Zealand was 2.7 people per household, the same as in 2006.

Auckland region and Porirua city had the highest average household size, at 3.0 people for both areas. Selwyn district was the next-highest, at 2.9 people.

Thames-Coromandel district had the lowest average household size, at 2.2 people.

The Auckland local board areas with the highest average household sizes were:

  • Mangere-Otahuhu – 4.0 people
  • Otara-Papatoetoe – 3.8 people
  • Manurewa – 3.6 people.

Most households consist of one or two people

Households with one or two usual residents made up over half of New Zealand households, at 57.0 percent. Households with three or four usual residents were not as common, at 16.4 percent and 15.2 percent, respectively. Households with six or more usual residents made up just 4.5 percent of households. There was little change since 2001.

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