Snapshot of the country: Older, more diverse

AMANDA PARKINSON AND FAIRFAX MEDIA
Last updated 10:58 03/12/2013

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Southland has become more ethnically diverse, according to data released today by Statistics New Zealand.

The data, part of the latest batch of 2013 Census results, shows Southland has had more than 50 percent increase in people from Asian decent migrating to the area. 

In 2006 census data showed 1149 Southlanders identified as Asian compared to 2841 in 2013.

The report also shows less people in the area are buying houses with a decrease of home ownership. 

More than 20,088 Southlanders either owned or partly owned a home in 2006 but in 2013 only 18,963 people reported owning their own home.  

This trend follows the downtown  reported by real estate agents in Invercargill. 

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said information from the census shows that as a nation we have a lower rate of home ownership than in 2006, yet the number of dwellings has increased.

"The Southland region on the whole reflects those trends, but the rate of home ownership among the population is higher than in other parts of the country.

"According to the 2013 Census, the Southland region's rate of home ownership was 69.7 percent - the third-highest rate of home ownership, by region. The rate of home ownership in Southland has decreased from 73.5 percent in 2006 - the largest regional fall in the rate of home ownership in that time.

"The number of occupied dwellings in the Southland region has increased by 2061 since the last census in 2006. The annual rate of increase for 2006 to 2013 was more than double than for 2001 to 2006."

Other key points about Southland from the 2013 Census results include:

  • The median income for people aged 15 years and over in the Southland region is $29,500. The New Zealand median income is $28,500. The median income for the Southland region has increased 27.2 percent since 2006 - the third-largest percentage increase by region.
  • The percentage of people aged 15 years and over in Southland with no qualifications decreased from 35.6 percent in the 2006 Census to 30 percent in the 2013 Census. This compares with a national average of 20.9 percent with no qualifications. Southland has the second-lowest percentage of people with a university degree, at 11.5 percent, compared with 20.0 percent for New Zealand overall.
  • After English, the next most commonly spoken languages in the Southland region are te reo Māori (2.5 percent) and Tagalog (0.8). In 2006, French was the third most commonly spoken language.
  • After Gisborne, Southland has the lowest percentage of residents born overseas. In the 2013 Census, 10.2 percent of Southland's population were reported as being born overseas, an increase of 2.6 percentage points from 2006. Of Southland's overseas-born usually resident population, 24.0 percent were from Asia - double the number from the 2006 Census.

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Nationally, the New Zealand population is getting older and more ethnically diverse.

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.

Although the overall population was higher this year, at 4,242,048 people, there were fewer children than in 2006.

A child is classified as a person under 15 years old.

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

Almost one out of eight people living in New Zealand are Asian, up from about one in 11 in 2006.

Nearly two-thirds of Asian people live in the Auckland region, where over one in five people are of Asian ethnicity.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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