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National Population Projections: 2014(base)–2068
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  28 November 2014
Key facts

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

In the short term the projections indicate:

  • Annual population growth of 1.6–2.0 percent in 2015 and 1.1–1.6 percent in 2016 reflecting significant gains from net migration.
  • New Zealand's population (4.51 million in 2014) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 4.68–4.82 million in 2018 and to 4.91–5.16 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+ (0.65 million in 2014) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 1.28–1.37 million in 2041 and to 1.58–1.81 million in 2068.
  • The proportion of the population aged 65+ (14 percent in 2014) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 22–25 percent in 2041 and 24–32 percent in 2068.
  • The population aged 85+ (78 thousand in 2014) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 220,000–270,000 in 2041 and to 320,000–450,000 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 (4.51 million in 2014) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 5.27–5.92 million in 2041 and to 5.28–7.17 million in 2068.

Graph, New Zealand population, 1948 to 2068.           Graph, age distribution of population, 1948 to 2068.

Note: The break in data between 1990 and 1991 in the 'New Zealand population' graph denotes a change from the de facto population concept to the resident population concept.

Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician. ISSN 1178-0584. 28 November 2014

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