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Population reaches 4.29 million
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  13 February 2009

National Population Estimates: December 2008 quarter  –  Media Release

The estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4,291,900 at 31 December 2008, Statistics New Zealand said today. The population increased by 39,300 (0.9 percent) in the December 2008 year, compared with 41,200 (1.0 percent) in the December 2007 year.

The main contribution to population growth during the December 2008 year came from natural increase (excess of births over deaths) of 35,500, down 200 on the previous December year. Population growth was lower in the December 2008 year compared with the previous year, mainly due to a fall in net migration. Permanent and long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 3,800 in the latest year, down from a net migration gain of 5,500 in the December 2007 year.

At 31 December 2008, the median age for males was 35.5 years (half are younger, and half older, than this age). The median age for the female population was 37.3 years. The median age has increased 2.5 years for males and 2.8 years for females between the 1998 and 2008 December years.

In the December 2008 year, the population growth rate was highest for the 65 years and over age group (at 2.3 percent), followed by an increase for the 15–64-year age group (at 0.9 percent). The number of children (aged 0–14 years) increased 0.1 percent in the same period. In the 10 years ended December 2008, the number of children increased 1.5 percent, compared with respective increases of 14.0 percent and 22.5 percent for the 15–64-year and 65 years and over age groups.
 
Geoff Bascand 13 February 2009
Government Statistician

END

For media enquiries contact:
Joel Watkins
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: demography@stats.govt.nz.

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