New Zealand Census 2023 – First Data Release

Stats NZ New Zealand Census 2023 - First Data Release By Anubhav Tewari

New Zealand Census 2023 – First Data Release

By Anubhav Tewari

First results from New Zealand’s 2023 Census of Population and Dwellings have been released, and they show some interesting trends in the country’s population.

The Stats NZ Census, which took place on the 7th of March 2023, revealed that New Zealand’s population is becoming more diverse and slightly older.

Population Growth

The “Census Usually Resident Population” or CURP in 2023 was stated as 4.7 million people.

According to the data released by Stats NZ on the 29th of May 2024, the population of New Zealand grew by 6.3 percent between 2018 and 2023, reaching a total of almost five million people.

The growth rate of their population has significantly slowed since the last census, with only 300,000 more people being counted in the 2023 census compared to 457,707 in the 2013-2018 period. This represents growth of 6.3% over the five year period, which was well below the 10.8% growth that was achieved between 2013 and 2018.

Three-quarters of the population (76.3 percent) lives on the North Island, and one-third (33.2 percent) reside in Auckland, making it the most populous region.

However, the South Island saw the most significant population growth at 7.3 percent, compared to 5.9 percent in the North Island.


In terms of demographic data, the census showed that 1 in 5 people in New Zealand are of Māori descent, with a 12.5 percent increase in the Māori population between 2018 and 2023.

The country’s median age has also increased to 38.1 years, with people of European ethnicity still comprising the majority (67.8 percent) of the population. However, there has been a significant growth in Māori, Asian, Pacific, and Middle Eastern / Latin American / African (MELAA) ethnicities, making up 17.8 percent, 17.3 percent, 8.9 percent, and 1.9 percent of the population, respectively.

Data Releases

Stats NZ’s Chief Executive, Mark Sowden, stated that this first release of census data is a significant milestone, providing essential insights for local authorities, community organizations, and decision-makers across the country.

Further data from the 2023 Census will continue to be released throughout 2024 and 2025, allowing us to have a better understanding of the changing landscape of New Zealand’s population.

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