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National Asian projections

For detailed projections see:

The latest projections of the Asian population living in New Zealand have the estimated resident population of Asian ethnicities at 30 June 2013 as a base. The Asian population are people who identify with one or more Asian ethnicities, such as Chinese, Indian, and Korean, either solely or with other ethnic groups such as ‘European or Other’, Māori, and Pacific.

Total Asian population

The projections indicate a 90 percent chance the Asian population will increase from 0.54 million at 30 June 2013 to 0.81–0.92 million in 2025 and 1.06–1.26 million in 2038. The median projection indicates the Asian population will make up 20.9 percent of New Zealand’s population, compared with 12.2 percent in 2013. The number of people identifying with Asian ethnicities is likely to exceed the number identifying with the Māori ethnicity from the mid-2020s.

Drivers of growth

The increase in the Asian population share will be largely driven by net migration (arrivals minus departures). The median projection assumes a net inflow of about 360,000 migrants over the 25-year period. Natural increase will account for about 260,000 (two-fifths) of the projected Asian population growth.

Age structure

The number of Asian children (aged 0–14) is likely to increase. The median projections indicate Asian children will make up 21.6 percent of all New Zealand children in 2038, compared with 11.9 percent in 2013. While the New Zealand population aged 65+ comprises mainly ‘European or Other’ people, the Asian proportion of this age group is projected to increase. By 2038, the Asian share will be 13.1 percent, up from 5.1 percent in 2013.

The Asian population will also continue to have a younger age structure than the overall New Zealand population, mainly due to immigration which is concentrated in ages 14–29. Half the Asian population will be older than 37 years in 2038, compared with 31 years in 2013.

Page updated 19 February 2016

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