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National Population Estimates: At 30 June 2014
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  14 August 2014
Definitions

About national population estimates

National population estimates give the best available measure of the size and age-sex structure of the population usually living in New Zealand. Estimates of the resident population are based on the latest available census data and on births, deaths, and migration since the census.

National population estimates are published quarterly and subnational population estimates are published annually.

More definitions

Demographic reconciliation: use of demographic estimates of the total population at the youngest ages at the national level as derived from births, deaths, and external migration data, independent of census. At the national level, demographic estimates are considered more accurate than census-based estimates because birth and death registrations, and external migration data, have virtually complete coverage.

Ethnicity: the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality, or citizenship. Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group.

Intercensal discrepancy: the difference between population estimates produced before the census and population estimates rebased after the census. It is a measure of the accuracy of population estimates, and is the net combined effect of various factors including inaccuracies in:

  • the census counts at the beginning and end of the period
  • the adjustments to derive population estimates (from census counts) at the beginning and end of the period
  • the components of population change (births, deaths, migration) during the period.

Inter-ethnic mobility: people changing their ethnic identification over time. This may reflect a person's cultural affiliations changing over time. Or, it may occur when different people respond to the ethnicity question. For example, the ethnicity of babies and young children is usually identified by their parents. However, in a later census when these children are old enough to complete their own forms, they will decide for themselves which ethnicity they identify with. This may differ from the ethnicity identified by their parents. Inter-ethnic mobility can also occur when different ethnicities are reported in different collections (eg birth registration form, death registration form, census form) for a person.

International migration: migration into or out of New Zealand. International migration statistics are based on 'permanent and long-term' migration statistics. These are primarily determined by passengers' responses on arrival and departure cards – about how long they intend to be in or away from New Zealand, and where they last lived or intend to live for 12 months or more.

  • International migrant arrivals: people from overseas arriving intending to live in New Zealand for 12 months or more (including permanently), and New Zealanders returning after an absence of 12 months or more. (Referred to as permanent and long-term arrivals in international migration statistics.)
  • International migrant departures: New Zealanders departing for an intended absence of 12 months or more (including permanently), and people from overseas departing after a stay of 12 months or more in New Zealand. (Referred to as permanent and long-term departures in international migration statistics.)
  • Net migration: the difference between the number of people who have moved to, and departed from, New Zealand. At the national level this is equivalent to international migrant arrivals minus international migrant departures.

Median age: half the population is younger, and half older, than this age.

Natural increase or decrease: natural increase is an excess of births over deaths. Natural decrease is an excess of deaths over births.

Net census undercount: the difference between undercount (people missed by a census who were meant to be counted) and overcount (people counted by a census who should not have been counted or who were counted more than once). It is usually expressed as a percentage of what should have been the complete count rather than as a percentage of what was counted.

Population measures: Statistics New Zealand commonly produces three population measures, the census night population count, census usually resident population count, and estimated resident population.

  • Census night population: a count of all people present in New Zealand on a given census night. This count includes visitors from overseas who are counted on census night, but excludes residents who are temporarily overseas on census night.
  • Census usually resident population count: a count of all people who usually live in New Zealand and are present in New Zealand on a given census night. This count excludes visitors from overseas and residents who are temporarily overseas on census night.
  • Estimated resident population: an estimate of all people who usually live in New Zealand at a given date. This estimate includes all residents present in New Zealand and counted by the census (census usually resident population count), residents who are temporarily overseas (who are not included in the census), and an adjustment for residents missed or counted more than once by the census (net census undercount). Visitors from overseas are excluded.

Resident population concept: a statistical basis for a population in terms of those who usually live in a given area at a given time.

Residents temporarily overseas: A person who usually lives in New Zealand but who is overseas for a period of less than 12 months.

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