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National Population Projections: 2016(base)–2068
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  19 October 2016
Key facts

National population projections give an indication of New Zealand's future population.

In the short term the projections indicate:

  • Annual population growth has a 50 percent probability of being 1.7–2.1 percent in 2017 and 1.4–2.0 percent in 2018, reflecting significant gains from net migration. 
  • New Zealand's population (4.69 million in 2016) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 4.89–5.14 million in 2020, and to 5.01–5.51 million in 2025. 

In the long term the projections indicate: 

  • Increasing numbers and proportions of the population at the older ages.
  • The population aged 65+ (0.70 million in 2016) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 1.32–1.42 million in 2043, and to 1.62–2.06 million in 2068.
  • The proportion of the population aged 65+ (15 percent in 2016) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 21–26 percent in 2043, and 24–33 percent in 2068.
  • The population aged 85+ (83,000 in 2016) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 239,000–284,000 in 2043, and to 333,000–467,000 in 2068.
  • Population growth will slow as New Zealand’s population ages and the gap between the number of births and deaths narrows.
  • New Zealand's population (4.69 million in 2016) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 5.29–6.58 million in 2043, and to 5.30–7.88 million in 2068.

Graph, New Zealand population 1948–2068. Graph, Age distribution of population 1948–2068.

Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician. ISSN 1178-0584. 19 October 2016

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