Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

www.stats.govt.nz

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Distance travelled by commuters

Highlights

  • Majority of commuters live close to their workplaces.
  • Approximately two-thirds of employed people lived within 10km of their workplace.
  • Distance travelled by commuters has increased slightly between 1996 and 2006.
  • In 1996, 49 percent of commuters travelled less than 5km; by 2006 this proportion dropped slightly to 47 percent.
  • In 2006, commuters to the four cities of Auckland travelled the furthest with a median distance of 6km.
  • In 2006, service and sales workers travelled less than other workers: just under 25 percent travelled less than 2km to their workplace while 57 percent travelled less than 5km.
  • In 2006, agriculture and fishery workers travelled the greatest distance, with 55 percent travelling 20km or further to work.

top

Introduction

The census asks people for their home address (usually referred to as their usual residence) and their workplace address. The information respondents give enables the collection of data on the distances people travel to work (see methodology and technical notes section for details).

Most people in New Zealand do not travel very far to their workplace, with just under half (47 percent) travelling less than 5km and two-thirds (67 percent) travelling less than 10km.

Over time, however, there has been a slight increase in distance travelled. Between 1996 and 2006, the percentage of commuters who travelled shorter distances decreased, while the percentage of those travelling longer distances increased. The Ministry of Transport’s Household Travel Survey reinforces these findings, showing that there had been an overall increase in distance travelled by households between 1997–98 and 2003–06.

Figure 1

Graph, Employed Population Who Travelled to Work.

top

Distance travelled by commuters to New Zealand’s largest cities

Distance travelled varies by place of work, with some differences apparent between New Zealand’s largest cities (the four cities of Auckland, the four cities of Wellington, and Christchurch city). The increasing dominance of employment in large urban centres between 1996 and 2006 is mirrored by an increase in distance travelled by commuters during this period. Median distance travelled has increased slightly between 1996 and 2006, with commuters in Auckland generally travelling the greatest distance. Figure 2 shows a box plot depicting both the median distance travelled for all commuters for the cities of Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland. The boxes represent 50 percent of commuters (the interquartile range), while the dot represents the median. The lines on either side (whiskers) represent the distribution of data on either side of the interquartile range, excluding values that are significantly outside the normal range of information.

Figure 2

Graph, Distance Travelled to Work in Major Cities.

Note: Data in this box plot refers to all commuters travelling to the four cities of Auckland, the four cities of Wellington, and Christchurch.

Table 1
Employed Population Who Travelled to Work in Major Cities

By distance travelled
1996 and 2006 Censuses

Graph, Employed Population Who Travelled to Work in Major Cities.

Median distance travelled has remained reasonably stable in the 10-year intercensal period, but there are slight increases in the median in Christchurch and Auckland. The distribution of the distance covered by commuters has, however, widened in all cases. This effect is most marked in Wellington, where the interquartile range has increased noticeably. The distance travelled by commuters tends to be longest in Auckland.

top

Distance travelled by occupation

In both 1996 and 2006, a considerable difference emerges in distances travelled by occupational group, with service and sales workers, followed by clerks, travelling the shortest distance. Service and sales workers travelled less than other workers; one-quarter travelled less than 2km to their workplace and 57 percent travelled less than 5km.

Figure 3

Graph, Population that Travelled More than 20km to Workplace.

Note: An earlier version of the occupational classification has been used (New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations 1999, v1.0) to enable a comparison over time.

Agriculture and fishery workers travelled the greatest distances. In 2006, only 14 percent travelled less than 5km while over 50 percent travelled more than 20km.

For further information on the travel habits of New Zealand commuters see Transit New Zealand’s Travel time indicator report and the Ministry of Transport’s New Zealand Household Travel survey.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Top
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+