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65+ population

Commentary

Overview

The population of the Auckland region aged 65 years and over (65+) will more than double between 2006 and 2031. An ageing population means the percentage of the population aged 65+ will continue to increase for most areas within the Auckland region, with Rodney district having the highest percentage of the population being 65+.

Mapping the percentage of population aged 65+

Figure 8.1 shows the percentage of the population aged 65+ from 1991 to 2031. The darker shades of green indicate higher percentages of this population.

The maps pull together information about the historical and projected population. The maps for 1991–2006 are based on census data, while those for 2011–31 are based on current population projections (2006-base medium series).

Figure 8.1

Percentage pf population aged 65 years and over

Note: More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 8.1 (PDF, 6.7MB)
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Changes over time in population aged 65+

The projection period 2007–31 corresponds with the baby boomers reaching age 65 years. The rate of population growth for the 65+ group will be greater than for the under-65 age group, so the percentage of the population aged 65+ will increase for most areas. This can be seen in figure 8.1 as the maps generally become darker over time, especially after 2021.

Between 1991 and 2006 the percentage of the population aged 65+ declined in much of Auckland city. The decline was due to a combination of smaller population cohorts reaching age 65, net immigration at younger ages, and net emigration at older ages. The decline in Auckland city is also seen in table 8.1, which shows the percentage of the population in each of the region's territorial authorities who are aged 65+, for 1991, 2006, and 2031.

Table 8.1

Percentage of Population Aged 65+ Years in Auckland Region 
By territorial authority 
1991, 2006, and 2031 
  1991  2006  2031 
 Territorial authority Percent 
 Rodney district  14.0 15.0  23.8 
 North Shore city  11.5 10.7  19.0 
 Waitakere city  7.5 9.2   17.2
 Auckland city  13.0 9.4  15.4
 Manukau city  7.7  8.3 15.4
 Papakura district  8.2 10.0   16.9
 Part of Franklin district(1) 9.6  11.1   22.0

(1) The part in Auckland region.
Sources: Census of Population and Dwellings; Population projections
Note: 1991 data based on census usually resident population count. Data for 2006 and 2031 based on estimated resident population. More information is in Notes and sources section.

Throughout the period 1991 to 2031, Rodney district is expected to have the highest percentage of the population being aged 65+ (24 percent in 2031). Rodney is popular among retired people because, although semi-rural, it is still close to the city for access to hospitals and health care.

Table 8.2 shows the change in the number of people aged 65+ for 1991–2031. Although Auckland and Manukau cities will have the lowest percentage of the population aged 65+ in 2031, these cities will have the largest numerical increases in this population between 2006 and 2031.

Table 8.2

Auckland Region's Population Aged 65+ Years 
By territorial authority 
 1991, 2006, and 2031
   1991 2006   2031
 Territorial authority (000) 
 Rodney district 7.7  13.8  32.4 
 North Shore city 17.5  23.3   54.8
 Waitakere city 10.3  18.0 46.9 
 Auckland city  39.7 40.4 89.9 
 Manukau city 17.3  28.7   81.3
 Papakura district  3.0 4.7   10.6
 Part of Franklin district(1) 2.9  4.9   13.4
 Total  98.4 133.8   329.3

(1) The part in Auckland region.
Sources: Census of Population and Dwellings; Population projections
Note: Figures may not sum to stated totals due to rounding. 1991 data based on census usually resident population count. Data for 2006 and 2031 based on estimated resident population. More information is in Notes and sources section.

Certainty and uncertainty

The population aged 65+ for each territorial authority in the Auckland region is projected to more than double between 2006 and 2031. Given that the people who will be 65+ in 2031 were already born in 2006 (the base year of the projections) it is a demographic certainty that there will be a huge increase in the size of the 65+ population. What is unknown is exactly where these people will live.

The projections for the 65+ population assume a continuation of the migration and mortality trends over the 20 years to 2006 for most areas. If the majority of people continue to retire in cities, the projections should be accurate. However, if there is an increase in older people moving from the higher-density city areas to a lower-density more rural lifestyle, the projections may understate changes to the 65+ populations in Rodney and Franklin districts, and overstate changes to the 65+ populations in the four cities of the Auckland region.

Implications

There are implications about the 65+ population in the Auckland region:

  • Within the Auckland region there could be over 320,000 people aged 65+ by the year 2031. Of these people, over 40,000 will be 85+. There will be a need for more rest homes and retirement villages, and in-home care services, in the years to come as the size of Auckland’s elderly population increases.
  • The more stable the geographic distribution of an area is, the easier it is to plan for new services. The rapidly growing population of older people will put increasing pressure on the demand for social services in Auckland.

Related chapters

  • Households and families
  • Housing
  • Population change
  • Population mobility

Further information

This page is part of Mapping Trends in the Auckland Region, available on www.stats.govt.nz.

Notes and sources

Data sources

The historical data are based on the census usually resident population count from the 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Censuses.

The projected data comes from the 2006-base population projections released in December 2007. Projections are based on assumptions about future fertility, mortality, and migration. There are three alternative series produced (low, medium, and high) using different assumptions. The population projections have as a base the estimated resident population at 30 June 2006, and extend to 2031. More information about population projections is on the Subnational Population Projections page, available on www.stats.govt.nz.

The maps display data at area unit level. Area units are non-administrative areas that are in between meshblocks and territorial authorities. They generally coincide with suburbs (in urban areas) and rural neighbourhoods. The Auckland region is made up of 399 area units, while there are 1,927 area units throughout New Zealand. Digital boundary files, used for constructing the maps, can be downloaded from Digital Boundaries available on www.stats.govt.nz.

The Auckland region is one of 16 regions, which are aggregations of area units governed by regional councils. More information about the geographical hierarchy of areas and the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

Definition

'Baby boomers' are defined as people born in the years 1946–1965, although the range of the baby boom period varies between sources and between countries.

Usual residence and estimated resident population

Tables 8.1 and 8.2 use the census usually resident population count for the 1991 data, while the data for 2006 and 2031 is based on the estimated resident population. While the source is slightly different to that used in the maps in figure 8.1 (2006 data is based on the census usually resident population count), the effect on the maps is insignificant.

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