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Population projections tables

This page has links to population projections tables in NZ.Stat – our free web tool for creating, finding, customising, and downloading datasets.

The links below go to sections on this page. In each section you will find information about the projections followed by links to the tables in NZ.Stat:

National population projections

2016-base to 2068

The 2016-base national population projections (released October 2016) have as a base the provisional estimated resident population (ERP) of New Zealand at 30 June 2016, and cover the period to 2068 at one-year intervals. They supersede the 2014-base national population projections (released November 2014).

Stochastic (probabilistic) population projections are produced to give estimates of uncertainty, although these estimates are themselves uncertain. The stochastic population projections are produced by combining 2,000 simulations of the assumptions. These simulations can be summarised by percentiles, which indicate the probability that the actual result is lower than the percentile. For example, the 25th percentile indicates an estimated 25 percent chance that the actual value will be lower, and a 75 percent chance that the actual result will be higher, than this percentile.

Nine alternative percentiles of probability distribution (2.5th, 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, 95th, and 97.5th percentiles) are available in these tables.

At the time of release, the median projection (50th percentile) indicates an estimated 50 percent chance that the actual value will be lower, and a 50 percent chance that the actual value will be higher, than this percentile. The median projection assumes:

  • the total fertility rate declines to 1.85 births per woman in 2036 and beyond
  • period life expectancy at birth increases to 89.1 years for males and 91.3 years for females in 2068
  • annual net migration of 60,000 in 2017, decreasing by 9,000 annually to 15,000 in 2022 and beyond.

'What if?' scenarios

Five 'what if?' scenarios have been produced to illustrate what happens when different specific levels of fertility, mortality, and migration assumptions are combined.

Very high fertility assumes:

  • the total fertility rate increases to 2.5 births per woman in 2036 and beyond
  • period life expectancy at birth increases to 89.1 years for males and 91.3 years for females in 2068
  • annual net migration of 60,000 in 2017, decreasing by 9,000 annually to 15,000 in 2022 and beyond.

Very low mortality assumes:

  • the total fertility rate declines to 1.85 births per woman in 2036 and beyond
  • period life expectancy at birth increases to 96.0 years for both males and females in 2068
  • annual net migration of 60,000 in 2017, decreasing by 9,000 annually to 15,000 in 2022 and beyond.

No migration assumes:

  • the total fertility rate declines to 1.85 births per woman in 2036 and beyond
  • period life expectancy at birth increases to 89.1 years for males and 91.3 years for females in 2068
  • no external migration from 2017 onwards (ie a 'closed' population).

Cyclic migration assumes:

  • the total fertility rate declines to 1.85 births per woman in 2036 and beyond
  • period life expectancy at birth increases to 89.1 years for males and 91.3 years for females in 2068
  • annual net migration of 60,000 in 2017, decreasing by 9,000 annually to 15,000 in 2022; net migration then fluctuates between -5,000 and 45,000 over a 10-year cycle. The net migration gain between 2016 and years ending in 2 and 8 (eg 2022, 2028), is the same as the median assumption.

Very high migration assumes:

  • the total fertility rate declines to 1.85 births per woman in 2036 and beyond
  • period life expectancy at birth increases to 89.1 years for males and 91.3 years for females in 2068
  • annual net migration of 60,000 in 2017, decreasing by 9,000 annually to 33,000 in 2020 ,and 30,000 in 2021 and beyond.

2016-base tables in NZ.Stat

National population projections, by age and sex, 2016(base)–2068 

National population projections, characteristics, 2016(base)–2068 

National population projections, projection assumptions, 2016(base)–2068 

More population projections information

See more information about the projections, including projection assumptions:

National Population Projections – information releases

Demographic Projections 

Subnational population projections

2013-base to 2043 update

Subnational population projections give an indication of the future population of New Zealand’s 16 regional council areas, 67 territorial authority areas, and 21 Auckland local board areas. The updated 2013-base subnational population projections (released December 2016) have as a base the estimated resident population of each area at 30 June 2013, and cover the period to 2043 at five-year intervals. These supersede the 2013-base subnational population projections (released February 2015).

We have produced three alternative projections (designated low, medium, and high) for each area using different fertility, mortality, and migration assumptions. At the time of release, we consider the medium projection the most-suitable for assessing future population changes. The medium projection is consistent with the median (50th percentile) of the National Population Projections: 2016(base)–2068 (released October 2016). However, customers can decide which projections are most suitable for their own purposes.

You can assess the impact on population size and structure resulting from more conservative and optimistic demographic scenarios using the low and high projections, respectively. They are independent of the national population projections as they represent plausible alternative scenarios for each area. As a result, the low and high population projections at the subnational level do not necessarily sum to low and high population projections at broader geographic levels. The low projection uses low fertility, high mortality, and low net migration for each area. The high projection uses high fertility, low mortality, and high net migration for each area.

2013(base)–2043 tables in NZ.Stat

Subnational population projections, by age and sex, 2013(base)–2043 update 

Subnational population projections, characteristics, 2013(base)–2043 update

Subnational population projections, projection assumptions, 2013(base)–2043 update

Information about rounding

Within the tables, individual figures may not sum to stated totals due to rounding.

The rounding of population figures is determined by the total population size of the geographic area. The rounding rules that have been applied are outlined below.

Total population size of geographic area Rounding of single year of age and five-year age group cells Rounding of broad age group, total (all ages), births, deaths and natural increase cells
Less than 2,000 5 10
2,000 to 9,999 10 10
10,000 to 19,999 10 50
20,000 or more 10 100

For example, if a geographic area has a population of 15,000 then five-year age group cells will be rounded to the nearest 10, and broad age group and total (all ages) cells will be rounded to the nearest 50.

More population projections information

See more information about the projections, including projection assumptions:

Subnational Population Projections – information releases 

Demographic Projections 

Urban area population projections

2013-base to 2043

Urban area population projections give an indication of the future population living in urban, rural, and other areas, and the area units they comprise. These projections have as a base the estimated resident population of each area at 30 June 2013, and cover the period to 2043 at five-year intervals. 

Three alternative projections (designated low, medium, and high) have been produced for each area using different fertility, mortality, and migration assumptions. At the time of release, Statistics NZ considers the medium projection suitable for assessing future population changes. The medium projection is consistent with the median (50th percentile) of the National Population Projections: 2014(base)–2068 (released November 2014). However, users can make their own judgement as to which projections are most suitable for their purpose.

The low and high projections allow users to assess the impact on population size and structure resulting from more conservative and optimistic demographic scenarios, respectively. They are independent of the national population projections as they represent plausible alternative scenarios for each area. As a result, the low and high population projections at the subnational level do not necessarily sum to low and high population projections at broader geographic levels. The low projection uses low fertility, high mortality, and low net migration for each area. The high projection uses high fertility, low mortality, and high net migration for each area.

2013(base)–2043 tables in NZ.Stat

Urban area population projections, by age and sex, 2013(base)–2043

Urban area population projections, characteristics, 2013(base)–2043

Urban area population projections, projection assumptions, 2013(base)–2043

Information about rounding

Within the tables, individual figures may not sum to stated totals due to rounding.

The rounding of population figures is determined by the total population size of the geographic area. The rounding rules that have been applied are outlined below.

Total population size of geographic area Rounding of single year of age and five-year age group cells Rounding of broad age group, total (all ages), births, deaths and natural increase cells
Less than 2,000 5 10
2,000 to 9,999 10 10
10,000 to 19,999 10 50
20,000 or more 10 100

For example, if a geographic area has a population of 15,000 then five-year age group cells will be rounded to the nearest 10, and broad age group and total (all ages) cells will be rounded to the nearest 50.

More population projections information

See more information about the projections, including projection assumptions:

Demographic Projections

Area unit population projections

2013-base to 2043 (released 2015)

The 2013-base area unit population projections (released 2015) include projections by five-year age group and sex, and cover the period to 2043 at five-year intervals. These supersede the 2006-base area unit population projections.

Three alternative projections (designated low, medium, and high) were produced for each area using different fertility, mortality, and migration assumptions. Users can make their own judgement as to which projections are most suitable for their purposes. At the time of release, the medium projection is considered suitable for assessing future population change and is consistent with the medium projection of the Subnational Population Projections: 2013(base)–2043 released on 19 February 2015.

The low and high projections allow users to assess the impact on population size and structure resulting from lower growth and higher growth scenarios, respectively. The low projection uses low fertility, high mortality, and low net migration for each area. The high projection uses high fertility, low mortality, and high net migration for each area. The low and high projections are independent of the national and subnational population projections (regions, cities, and districts), as they represent plausible alternative scenarios for each area. As a result, low and high population projections at the area unit level do not necessarily sum to low and high population projections at broader geographic levels.

Area unit population projections tables

Area unit population projections, by age and sex, 2013(base)-2043 

Area unit population projections, characteristics, 2013(base)-2043

Area unit population projections, projection assumptions, 2013(base)-2043 

Information about rounding

Within the tables, individual figures may not sum to stated totals due to rounding.

The rounding of population figures is determined by the total population size of the geographic area. The rounding rules applied are outlined below.

Total population size of geographic area Rounding of single year of age and five-year age group cells Rounding of broad age group, total (all ages), births, deaths and natural increase cells
Less than 2,000 5 10
2,000 to 9,999 10 10
10,000 to 19,999 10 50
20,000 or more 10 100

For example, if a geographic area has a population of 15,000 then five-year age group cells will be rounded to the nearest 10, and broad age group and total (all ages) cells will be rounded to the nearest 50.

More population projections information

See more information about the projections:

Area unit population projections 

Information about the Demographic Projections 

National ethnic population projections tables

2013-base to 2038

The 2013-base national ethnic population projections (released May 2015) cover four broad and overlapping ethnic populations of New Zealand: 'European or Other (including New Zealander)', Māori, Asian, and Pacific. The new projections have the estimated resident population of each ethnic group at 30 June 2013 as a base, and cover the period 2014–38 at one-year intervals. They supersede the updated 2006-base national ethnic population projections released in April 2010. 

It is important to note that the ethnic populations discussed here are not mutually exclusive because people can and do identify with more than one ethnicity. People are included in each ethnic population they identify with.

These ethnic population projections complement the projections of the total New Zealand population (National Population Projections, 2014(base)–2068) released on 28 November 2014. However, only the median projection (50th percentile) of the ethnic population projections and the median projection of the national population projections are designed to be directly comparable. Other percentiles cannot be directly compared because the projection assumptions may be incompatible.

Stochastic (probabilistic) population projections are produced to give estimates of uncertainty, although it is important to note that the estimates of uncertainty are themselves uncertain. The stochastic population projections are produced by combining 2,000 simulations of the assumptions. These simulations can be summarised by percentiles, which indicate the probability that the actual result is lower than the percentile. For example, the 25th percentile indicates an estimated 25 percent chance that the actual value will be lower, and a 75 percent chance that the actual result will be higher, than this percentile.

Seven alternative percentiles of probability distribution (5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, and 95th percentiles) are available in these tables. 

At the time of release, the median projection (50th percentile) indicates an estimated 50 percent chance the actual value will be lower, and a 50 percent chance the actual value will be higher, than this percentile. The median projection assumes:

  • fertility – the total fertility rate will decrease to 1.85 births per woman for 'European or Other' women in 2038, 2.20 for Māori women, 1.60 for Asian women, and 2.30 for Pacific women.
  • paternity – the total paternity rate will decrease to 0.13 births per man for 'European or Other' men (with non-European and non-Other women) in 2038, 0.90 for Māori men (with non-Māori women), 0.15 for Asian men (with non-Asian women), and 0.90 for Pacific men (with non-Pacific women).
  • mortality – life expectancy at birth will increase for the 'European or Other population' to 85.0 years for males and 88.3 years for females in 2038, for the Māori population to 81.3 years for males and 84.7 years for females, for the Asian population to 88.7 years for males and 91.1 years for females, and for the Pacific population to 82.1 years for males and 85.8 years for females.
  • migration – annual net migration levels in the long-term (2017–38) of -3,000 for the 'European or Other' population, -4,000 for the Māori population, 13,000 for the Asian population, and 1,000 for the Pacific population.
  • inter-ethnic mobility – there will be an average annual net change to the population in 2014–38 due to people changing their ethnic identification of 0.04 percent for the 'European or Other' population, 0.43 percent for the Māori population, -0.08 percent for the Asian population, and -0.11 percent for the Pacific population.

2013-base tables in NZ.Stat

National ethnic population projections, by age and sex, 2013(base)-2038 

National ethnic population projections, characteristics, 2013(base)-2038 

National ethnic population projections, projection assumptions, 2013(base)-2038  

More population projections information

See more information about the projections, including projection assumptions:

National Ethnic Population Projections – information releases 

Demographic Projections 

Subnational ethnic population projections

2013-base to 2038

Subnational ethnic population projections (released September 2015) give an indication of the future ethnic composition of the population usually living in the 16 regional council areas, 67 territorial authority areas, and 21 Auckland local board areas of New Zealand. Projections are available for four broad and overlapping ethnic groups: 'European or Other (including New Zealander)', Māori, Asian, and Pacific. The projections cover the period 2013(base)–2038 at five-year intervals.

It is important to note that these ethnic populations are not mutually exclusive because people can and do identify with more than one ethnicity. People are included in each ethnic population they identify with.

Three alternative projections (designated low, medium, and high growth) have been produced for each ethnic group and each area using different fertility, paternity, mortality, migration, and inter-ethnic mobility assumptions. At the time of release, the medium projection is considered the most suitable for assessing future population change and is consistent with the median (50th percentile) of the National Ethnic Population Projections 2013(base)–2038 (released on 21 May 2015) and the medium projection of the Subnational Population Projections 2013(base)–2043 (released on 19 February 2015). In turn, these projections are consistent with the median (50th percentile) of the National Population Projections 2014(base)–2068 (released on 28 November 2014).

The low and high projections allow users to assess the impact on population size and structure resulting from lower growth and higher growth scenarios, respectively. The low projection uses low fertility, low paternity, high mortality, low net migration, and low net inter-ethnic mobility for each ethnic group and each area. The high projection uses high fertility, high paternity, low mortality, high net migration, and high net inter-ethnic mobility for each ethnic group and each area. The low and high projections are independent of other national or subnational projections as they represent plausible alternative scenarios for each ethnic group and each area only, rather than for any collective ethnic or geographic level.

Information about rounding

Within the tables, individual figures may not sum to stated totals due to rounding.

The rounding of subnational population figures is determined by the total population size of the geographic area. The rounding rules that have been applied are outlined below.

 

Total population size of geographic area Rounding of five-year age group cells Rounding of broad age group, total (all ages), births, deaths, natural increase, net migration, and inter-ethnic mobility cells
Less than 2,000 5 10
2,000 to 9,999 10 10
10,000 to 19,999 10 50
20,000 or more 10 100

For example, if a subnational area has a Māori population of 15,000 then five-year age group cells will be rounded to the nearest 10, and broad age group and total (all ages) cells will be rounded to the nearest 50.

All New Zealand cells have been rounded to 100s.

2013(base)–2038 tables in NZ.Stat

Subnational ethnic population projections, by age and sex, 2013(base)-2038

Subnational ethnic population projections, characteristics, 2013(base)-2038

Subnational ethnic population projections, projection assumptions, 2013(base)-2038

More population projections information

See more information about the projections, including projection assumptions:

Subnational Ethnic Population Projections – information releases

Demographic Projections

National labour force projections

2015-base to 2068

Labour force projections indicate the future supply of people, usually living in New Zealand, available for work.

The latest national labour force projections have as a base the estimated resident population in the labour force at 30 June 2015. The projections cover the period to 2068 at one-year intervals. These supersede the updated 2006-base national labour force projections released in August 2012.

Stochastic (probabilistic) labour force projections are produced to give estimates of uncertainty, although these estimates are themselves uncertain. The projections are produced by combining 2,000 simulations of the labour force participation assumptions with 2,000 simulations of the 2013-base national population projections. In addition, 2,000 simulations of average hours worked (per week) are combined with the labour force projections, to indicate the extent to which people are available for work.  

These simulations can be summarised by percentiles, which indicate the probability that the actual result is lower than the percentile. For example, the 25th percentile indicates an estimated 25 percent probability that the actual result will be lower, and a 75 percent probability that the actual result will be higher, than this percentile.

Seven alternative percentiles of probability distribution (5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, and 95th percentiles) are available in these tables.

At the time of release, the 50th percentile (or median) indicates an estimated 50 percent probability that the actual result will be lower, and a 50 percent probability that the actual result will be higher, than this percentile. The median projection assumes:

  • fertility, mortality, and migration – as outlined in the 2014-base national population projections (see above)
  • labour force participation – the average working life (over ages 15–79 years) increases from 46 years for males and 39 years for females in 2015 to 48 years for males and 42 years for females in 2068
  • average hours worked (or available for work) per week decreases for males from 41 hours in 2015 to 40 hours in 2068, and remains about 32 hours for females.

'What if?' scenarios

Five 'what if?' scenarios have been produced to illustrate what happens when different specific levels of fertility, mortality, and migration assumptions are combined with the median labour force participation assumptions.

Very high fertility assumes:

  • a total fertility rate of 2.5 births per woman in the long term
  • period life expectancy at birth reaching 89.0 years for males and 91.5 years for females in 2068
  • annual net migration of 12,000 in the long term.

Very low mortality assumes:

  • a total fertility rate of 1.9 births per woman in the long term
  • period life expectancy at birth reaching 96.0 years for both males and females in 2068
  • annual net migration of 12,000 in the long term.

No migration assumes:

  • a total fertility rate of 1.9 births per woman in the long term
  • period life expectancy at birth reaching 89.0 years for males and 91.5 years for females in 2068 
  • no external migration (ie a 'closed' population).

Cyclic migration assumes:

  • a total fertility rate of 1.9 births per woman in the long term
  • period life expectancy at birth reaching 89.0 years for males and 91.5 years for females in 2068 
  • annual net migration fluctuates between -10,000 and 35,000 over a 10-year cycle, with an average of 12,000.

Very high migration assumes:

  • a total fertility rate of 1.9 births per woman in the long term
  • period life expectancy at birth reaching 89.0 years for males and 91.5 years for females in 2068 
  • annual net migration of 25,000 in each year after 2016.

2015-base tables in NZ.Stat

National labour force projections, by age and sex, 2015(base)–2068 

National labour force projections, characteristics, 2015(base)–2068 

More labour force projections information

National Labour Force Projections – information releases 

Demographic Projections 

National family and household projections

2013-base to 2038

National family and household projections (released October 2015) indicate the future number and broad types of families and households usually living in New Zealand. A family, as defined here, consists of a couple, with or without child(ren), or one parent with child(ren), usually living together in a household. Couples include opposite-sex and same-sex couples. A household is defined as one person usually living alone, or two or more people usually living together and sharing facilities (for example, eating facilities, cooking facilities, bathroom and toilet facilities, a living area) in a private dwelling. The new projections have the estimated families and households at 30 June 2013 as a base, and cover the period 2014–38 at one-year intervals. These supersede the updated 2006-base projections released in July 2010.

Six alternative family and household projections have been produced by combining three population projections with two variants of living arrangement type rates.

The three population projections are:

  • Low which assumes low fertility, high mortality, and low migration
  • Medium which assumes medium fertility, medium mortality, and medium migration
  • High which assumes high fertility, low mortality, and high migration.

The two living arrangement type rates are: 

  • A which assumes LATRs will remain constant at 2013 levels
  • B which assumes LATRs will change linearly between 2013 and 2038.

At the time of release, we consider the Medium B projection the most suitable for assessing future family and household changes. Moreover, only Medium B has been formulated to produce demographically plausible results, by assessing both observed trends between 1986 and 2013 and likely future trends to 2038. Other projections may project significantly different numbers of male and female partners in couple-without-children and/or two-parent families, because the living arrangement type rate A variants are formulated solely from observed historical rates.

The other projections allow users to assess the impact on the number of families and households resulting from different population and/or living arrangement type scenarios. For example, Low B, Medium B, and High B can be used for assessing the effect of different population outcomes combined with variant B living arrangement type rates; and series Medium A and Medium B illustrate the effect of different living arrangement type assumptions combined with the mid-range population scenario.

2013-base tables in NZ.Stat

National family and household projections, population by living arrangement type, age, and sex, 2013(base)–2038

National family projections, by family type, 2013(base)–2038

National household projections, by household type, 2013(base)–2038

More population projections information

See more information about the projections, including projection assumptions:

National Family and Household Projections – information releases 

Demographic Projections 

Subnational family and household projections

2013-base to 2038

Subnational family and household projections (released December 2015) indicate the future number and broad types of families and households usually living in New Zealand's 16 regional council areas (regions), 67 territorial authority areas (TAs), and 21 Auckland local board areas (LBAs). A family, as defined here, consists of a couple, with or without child(ren), or one parent with child(ren), usually living together in a household. Couples include opposite-sex and same-sex couples. A household is defined as one person usually living alone, or two or more people usually living together and sharing facilities (eg eating facilities, cooking facilities, bathroom and toilet facilities, a living area) in a private dwelling.

Three alternative family and household projections have been produced by combining three population projections with living arrangement type rates.

The three population projections are:

  • Low which assumes low fertility, high mortality, and low migration
  • Medium which assumes medium fertility, medium mortality, and medium migration
  • High which assumes high fertility, low mortality, and high migration.

The living arrangement type rates assumes LATRs will change linearly between 2013 and 2038.

At the time of release, we consider the medium projection the most suitable for assessing future family and household changes. Moreover, only medium projection has been formulated to produce demographically plausible results, by assessing both observed trends between 1986 and 2013 and likely future trends to 2038. Other projections may project significantly different numbers of male and female partners in couple-without-children and/or two-parent families. The other projections allow users to assess the impact on the number of families and households resulting from different population scenarios.

2013-base tables in NZ.Stat

Subnational family and household projections, population by living arrangement type, and age, 2013(base)–2038

Subnational family projections, by family type, 2013(base)–2038

Subnational household projections, by household type, 2013(base)–2038

More population projections information

See more information about the projections, including projection assumptions:

Subnational Family and Household Projections – information releases 

Demographic Projections 

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