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Interactive population pyramid for New Zealand

This population pyramid shows New Zealand's changing age-sex distribution over time. It delivers insight into our population history and what our future may look like.

Tips for using the pyramid

Some stories from the pyramid

Information about the data 

Source data: Estimates and projections

Tips for using the pyramid

Use the timeline scale below the pyramid to move through the years.

Use the control buttons to start the pyramid moving through different time periods. Use the animation speed options to change how fast the pyramid moves through time.

Check the 'surplus' tick box to identify age groups where there are more males or females.

Hover over the pyramid area to see more information about a given age-sex group.

Some stories from the pyramid

Early 1940s: numbers of males aged in their twenties affected by service in World War II.

1951: a large proportion aged 0–4 years coincides with the first of the baby boomers.

1986: a small proportion aged 0–9 years coincides with falling birth numbers in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

2017: the baby boomers are aged roughly 52–71 years.

2060s: a more rectangular pyramid reflects larger numbers and proportions of people at older ages than in earlier years. 

The population aged 90 years and over (90+) was about 1,000 during the 1930s. It reached 29,000 in 2016, is expected to exceed 50,000 by the early 2030s, and exceed 180,000 by the 2060s.

Information about the data

  • 1936–1990 are estimates of the de facto population at 31 December
  • 1991–2016 are estimates of the resident population at 30 June
  • 2017–2068 are projections of the resident population at 30 June

Data for New Zealand are available by single year of age (up to 89 years, then 90+ age group) from 1936 to 2068. The national population estimates are available from Infoshare (click "show discontinued" for estimates before 1991). All projected data displayed in the pyramid are based on the mid-range (median) projection from the 2016-base projections released in October 2016. The national population projections, including measures of uncertainty, are available from NZ.Stat.

Estimates for subnational areas – regions (regional council areas), territorial authority areas, local government areas, urban areas, area units – are available from NZ.Stat, Infoshare, and Subnational population estimates tables. Projections for subnational areas – regions (regional council areas), territorial authority areas, Auckland local board areas, area units – are available from NZ.Stat.

See Estimates and projections for more information.

Acknowledgements

We developed this population pyramid in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The work relies on the concept of 'population pyramids' developed by Alan Smith of the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom.

First published 18 February 2013. Last updated 31 May 2017.

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