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2013 Census counted over 97 percent of population
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  27 May 2014

Post-enumeration Survey: 2013  –  Media Release

The 2013 Census counted 97.6 percent of the population, Statistics New Zealand said today. 

"Results from the 2013 Post-enumeration Survey show that the 2013 Census counted 97.6 percent of New Zealand residents in the country on census night," population statistics manager Vina Cullum said. "The strong coverage rate reflects the cooperation and support of the New Zealand public, and the high-quality work of field staff."

The Post-enumeration Survey is an independent check on the accuracy of coverage (undercount and overcount) in the census. The net census undercount of 103,800 (2.4 percent) resulted from 135,500 people being missed in the census, offset by 31,700 people who were counted more than once.

Some population groups were more likely to be missed in the census. The net undercount rates for Māori, Pacific peoples, and young adults (aged 15–29 years), for example, were higher than the rate for the total population.

Along with coverage rates, the survey also provides measures of census response, which is the number of people completing and returning their forms. In the 2013 Census the overall response rate was 92.9 percent. 

Census non-response (7.1 percent) is made up of the net undercount, together with people who were counted in the census but for whom no form was received.

The targets set by the 2013 Census programme for coverage and response rates were 98 and 95 percent, respectively.

“While the great majority of people in New Zealand in census night were counted, the collection environment is changing – people, and some groups in particular, are becoming much more difficult to reach,” 2013 Census general manager Gareth Meech said.

“Although we did not meet our ambitious targets we're confident the census has produced high-quality, timely information to help inform decision-making in New Zealand.”

Given the changing collection environment, the modernised 2018 Census will be putting in place measures to make it easier for people to take part in the census, with the aim of improving coverage and response rates.

Results from the Post-enumeration Survey are a key part of the 2013-base estimated resident population, which will be the starting point for population estimates and projections until the next census. The new 2013-base population is scheduled for release on 14 August 2014.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Kelly Mitchell, Wellington 04 931 4600, info@stats.govt.nz

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 27 May 2014

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