New residential areas and shifting population patterns have produced gains and losses for parts of Nelson and Tasman in the 2013 census figures, with the Ngawhatu area the standout for population gain.
It rose to 2427 from 1334 in 2006 and 969 in 2001, far ahead of any other suburb across the wider region, figures released by Statistics New Zealand show.
The Isel Park area had the next biggest growth, from 2766 in 2006 to 3165 this year, an increase of 399, with Atawhai not far behind, growing by 348.
There were small reductions in Bronte, from 1713 to 1707, and Atmore, from 1215 to 1206, but most areas had modest gains.
In Tasman the biggest gains were in Richmond West, up 297, Richmond East 261 and Motueka West, 255.
Hope, Brightwater, Murchison and Tapawera lost a few but Wakefield reversed the trend, gaining 228.
Because Nelson and Tasman are both unitary authorities, performing the functions of a regional council as well as a territorial authority, they are classified as two separate regions in the statistics.
Nelson was the fastest-growing South Island region with 8.3 per cent population growth, but did not make the top 10 for territorial authorities.
This group, all districts, with percentage increases in brackets, is: Selwyn (32.6), Queenstown-Lakes (22.9), Waimakariri (16.7), Carterton (16), Ashburton (13.4), Tauranga (10.5), Waikato (10.1), Hurunui (10.1), Waipa (9.8), Mackenzie (9.4). Tasman's growth was under 6 per cent but it remained marginally ahead of Nelson in population, 47,157 compared with Nelson's 46,437.
Comparing the country's 13 cities, Nelson's population puts it at second-smallest, ahead of only Upper Hutt, which has 40,179 people. Invercargill, with 51,696, and Porirua, 51,717, were closest in population to Nelson.
Auckland, with 1,415,550 people, has widened the gap on Christchurch, which has 341,469. In 2006 the comparative figures were 1,304,958 and 348,456.
Third-placed Wellington grew from 179,466 to 190,956. Dunedin, fourth-biggest, went from 118,683 to 120,246.
Canterbury is the second-largest region in New Zealand after Auckland, with a census "usually resident population" count of 539,433.
Despite the series of earthquakes beginning in 2010, the Canterbury population grew between 2006 and 2013 - up 17,601 people (3.4 per cent). This was a smaller increase than between 2001 and 2006, when the population grew by 40,401 (8.4 per cent).
Census "usually resident population" counts total of everyone who usually lives in New Zealand, or in a particular area, and is present in New Zealand on census night.
These census counts are the basis for, but are different to, population estimates and projections.
Census counts are used by government agencies for planning and making decisions about allocating resources, and to determine electorate borders.
The next releases, on December 3, will be 2013 census population and dwelling tables, quickstats about national highlights and quickstats about Maori.
Source: Statistics NZ
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