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Population growth expected to slow in most regions
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  22 February 2017

Subnational Population Projections: 2013(base)–2043 update  –  Media Release

Nearly all regional council areas (regions) will have more people in 2043 than 2013, Statistics New Zealand said today. However, projections suggest the record growth rates seen in recent years will begin to subside.

Updated subnational population projections indicate that most of the growth will happen in the next few years.

“New Zealand has recently been experiencing record high levels of net migration, with more arrivals than departures. Our projections have been updated to reflect that,” population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.

“For most regions, migration is driving the high projected growth levels in the short term. However, due to our population's changing age structure, which is a result of fewer births and more deaths, population growth will slow in the long term.”

Auckland will continue to be New Zealand’s fastest growing region. Among regions, Auckland is projected to receive over half New Zealand’s net migration, and account for over half the country’s growth in the period to 2043. At the local board level, Waitemata and Upper Harbour areas are projected to grow faster, each averaging 2.6 percent growth a year.

Of New Zealand's 67 territorial authority (TA) areas, 59 are projected to have more people in 2028 than in 2013, and 36 will have more people in 2043 than 2028. Additionally, nearly every TA is projected to have a lower growth rate in the 15-year period ending 2043 than in 2028. 

Over 80 percent of New Zealand’s growth to 2043 will be in Auckland and the other 12 cities, resulting in over a million more city dwellers than in 2013.

The fastest TA growth is expected in Selwyn and Queenstown-Lakes districts, averaging 2.6 percent and 2.2 percent a year, respectively. Projections indicate their populations will approximately double by 2043.

These projections are not predictions. The projections should be used as an indication of the overall trend, rather than as exact forecasts. Statistics NZ produces low, medium, and high growth projections for every local area every 2–3 years to assist planning by communities, local councils, and government.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Kirsten Nissen, Christchurch 03 964 8700, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 22 February 2017

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