Census: Population older, more diverse

Last updated 11:03 03/12/2013

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A quarter of the New Zealand population was born overseas, Statistics New Zealand says.

Every person in the country on March 5, Census Day, was required to provide information to the Government about their lives, from where they lived to how much they money they made.

The bulk of the information is being released today.

According to the data, one in eight people are from an Asian group, up from one in 11 in 2006, with the population size almost doubling since 2001.

This makes Auckland, home to 39 per cent of people of Asian ethnicity in New Zealand, comparable to Melbourne and Sydney, said government statistician Liz MacPherson.

Of those born overseas, the three most common countries of birth were England, China, and India. Hindi is now the fourth most common language, after English, Maori, and Samoan.

The population is also getting older, said SNZ.

Since the last census, the median age is more than two years older, at 38-years-old, MacPherson said.

Although the overall population was higher in 2013, at 4,242,048 people, there were fewer children than in 2006. There was a 6.3 per cent decline in people aged 10 to 14-years-old.

The number of people aged 50-69-years-old showed a large increase.

The 2013 Census results also showed the total number of dwellings increased by around 118,000 since 2006, with nearly 30 per cent of the increase in the Auckland region.

However, despite there being more dwellings, a lower proportion of households own their homes.

"The rate of home ownership fell to just under 65 per cent at the 2013 Census, compared with almost 67 per cent at the 2006 Census," MacPherson said.

The number of empty dwellings increased sharply since the last census, up more than 16 per cent.

"Almost 40 per cent of this increase was in Canterbury, probably because of people leaving their dwellings after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes," she said.

THE OLD AND THE NEW

More Kiwi households have access to cellphones than the internet and a surprising number still use fax machines.

Internet access at home continues to rise, at 76.8 per cent in 2013, compared with 60.5 per cent in 2006 and 37.4 per cent in 2001.

Cellphone access also increased, with 83.7 per cent of households in 2013 having access to one at home, compared with 74.2 per cent in 2006.

However, people are still clinging onto their fax machines, with a surprising 14.6 per cent of households still using the old-school technology compared to 26 per cent in 2006.

One worrying figure to emerge from the census is that 24,135 households (1.6%) do not have access to any telecommunication systems at home. That is, they did not have a landline telephone, cellphone, internet access, or a fax.

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CENSUS AT A GLANCE

- © Fairfax NZ News

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