Statistics New Zealand has released some provisional National Population Estimates. Here are some key points.
Rapid growth in the 65+ age group
The number of people aged 65+ has more than doubled since the early 1980s to reach 635,200. The population aged 65+ now makes up 14 percent of the total population, compared with 10 percent in 1980, and will continue to grow over the next two decades. Latest national population projections (median projection) indicate that the number is likely to double again by 2040.
Population growth remains below one percent
In the June 2013 year, the estimated resident population grew by 37,700 (0.9 percent) to reach 4,470,800. This follows an increase of 27,900 (0.6 percent) in the year to June 2012. Population growth in the year to June 2013 was due to a natural increase (more births than deaths) of 29,800 and a net international migration gain of 7,900.
Median age continues to rise
At 30 June 2013, half of New Zealand’s population was over 37.1 years, compared with 32.0 years in June 1993. New Zealand’s population is ageing, due to sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. Latest national population projections (median projection) indicate that by 2031 the median age of the New Zealand population could reach 39.9 years.
Growing numbers of people in the older age groups
The age structure of New Zealand’s population has changed considerably over the last two decades. At 30 June 2013:
- Children (aged 0–14 years) accounted for 20 percent (890,900) of the population, down from 23 percent in 1993.
- The younger working-age population (aged 15–39 years) remained the largest group, accounting for 34 percent (1,505,000) of the population, down from 39 percent in 1993.
- The older working-age population (aged 40–64 years) made up 32 percent (1,439,700) of the population, up from 26 percent in 1993.
- The population aged 65 years and over (aged 65+) accounted for 14 percent (635,200) of the population, up from 11 percent in 1993.