More residents likely, but they'll be older

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 11:30 09/10/2012

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Marlborough's population will grow slightly over the next 20 years - but it will also get older, Statistics New Zealand says.

In its latest population projections, published yesterday, Statistics NZ said population growth in the Marlborough and Kaikoura districts was expected to be between 0 and 0.5 per cent.

Although all areas in New Zealand will have slow growth, the country's population is expected to reach 5.19 million people by 2031, and 2 million of those people will be in Auckland.

The North Island is projected to be home to 78 per cent of New Zealand's population by 2031, compared with 76 per cent last year.

The populations of all territorial authority areas is expected to be older in the future. However, there will be considerable variation between areas, Statistics NZ says.

At the national level, the median age (half the population is younger, and half older, than this age) is projected to increase from 37 years in 2011 to 40 years in 2031.

Statistics NZ says that last year, the median age ranged from 32 years in Hamilton to 48 years in Thames-Coromandel.

By 2031, the median age is projected to range from 34 in Hamilton to 55 in Thames-Coromandel. A median age of 50 years or older is projected for seven areas in 2031. These are Marlborough, South Wairarapa, Waitaki, Kapiti, Horowhenua, Carterton, and Buller."

Marlborough's median age in 2031 is expected to be 50.6, up from 43.8 in 2011. Kaikoura's median age is expected to increase from 43.1 to 48.8 in the same time.

Statistics NZ said the oldest median ages are generally in areas experiencing low fertility and/or an outflow of young adults - aged 15 to 29 years - and an inflow of people aged 35 to 74 years.

By 2031, there are expected to be more deaths than births in the Marlborough and Kaikoura districts.

In the Marlborough district, the percentage of people aged 65 or older in 2031 is expected to be 31.7, up from 18.8 per cent last year.

Kaikoura's comparable figures are a rise from 17.1 to 29.5 per cent. For New Zealand overall, 21 per cent of the population is expected to be 65 and older in 2031, up from 14 per cent in 2011.

In Marlborough, the percentage of people aged 15 or younger in 2031 is expected to be 15.1, down from 17.9 per cent last year. Kaikoura's will drop from 17.9 to 15.4 per cent during the same time.

For New Zealand overall, 18 per cent of the population is expected to be aged under 15 in 2031, down from 20 per cent in 2011.

Statistics NZ says the projections are not predictions.

"These projections should be used as an indication of the overall trend, rather than as exact forecasts."

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- The Marlborough Express

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