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Māori ethnic group

Māori ethnic group increasing in almost every region

The percentage of people who identified with the Māori ethnic group increased in almost all regions between 2006 and 2013. The two regions with the biggest increases were:

  • Gisborne – 48.9 percent of the population were Māori in 2013 (up from 47.3 percent in 2006)
  • Taranaki – 17.4 percent were Māori in 2013 (up from 15.8 percent in 2006).

Only two regions did not have an increase in the percentage of Māori:

  • Auckland – 10.7 percent of the population were Māori in 2013 (down from 11.1 percent in 2006)
  • Bay of Plenty – 27.5 percent were Māori in 2013 (the same as in 2006).

Gisborne and Northland regions had the highest proportion of Māori. Almost half of the people (48.9 percent) in the Gisborne region and a third (32.4 percent) in the Northland region identified with the Māori ethnic group.

Of all regions, Gisborne had the highest median age for Māori at 26.3 years. Māori in the Northland and Marlborough regions were also slightly older, having a median age of 25.8 years, compared with a median age of 23.9 years for all Māori living in New Zealand. In contrast, Māori living in the Otago region were slightly younger, with a median age of 21.9 years.

Of all regions, Canterbury had the highest percentage of Māori who were male (50.9 percent or 21,324 people). Canterbury was the only region where there were more Māori males than Māori females.

Māori are a youthful population

A high proportion of Māori (43.6 percent or 260,940 people) were aged under 20 in 2013, compared with the 27.4 percent of the total population in this age group. However, the median age of Māori (23.9 years) increased since 2006, when it was 22.7 years.

Children (0–14 years) made up 33.8 percent of Māori in 2013. Of all regions, Tasman had the highest proportion of Māori who were children, at 36.2 percent.

Almost a quarter of Māori children (23.7 percent or 48,033 people) lived in the Auckland region, 14.2 percent (28,659) in the Waikato region, and 11.5 percent (23,247) in the Bay of Plenty region.

Graph, Māori ethnic group, by age and sex, 2013 Census.

Many Māori children also identify with other major ethnic groups

Māori children (aged 0–14 years) were more likely than Māori adults to also identify with the Pacific peoples, Asian, or Middle Eastern/Latin American/African major ethnic groups. Of Māori who identified with one or more of these groups:

  • 58.8 percent (28,884) who identified with Pacific peoples were children
  • 58.7 percent (945) who identified with Middle Eastern/Latin American/African were children
  • 51.9 percent (5,322) who identified with at least one of the Asian ethnic groups were children
  • 39.9 percent (116,820) who identified with European were children.

The proportion of Māori who also identified as European has continued to increase. In 2013, almost half (48.9 percent or 292,938 people) of Māori also identified with at least one of the European ethnicities, compared with 42.2 percent in 2006, and 40.5 percent in 2001.

See more information about the Māori ethnic group

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