Quakes change the face of Christchurch

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 16:02 18/02/2014
Cathedral Square
Daniel Tobin

EMPTY: Thousands of officer workers were based in or near Cathedral Square before the quakes.

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The earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have changed the face and shape of Greater Christchurch – the area that covers the city, and Waimakariri and Selwyn districts.

A key change has been the dramatic halving of the number of central city workers - see an interactive graphic below for more details.

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show Greater Christchurch now has more young men, Maori, and empty dwellings than in 2006, while construction is the biggest employer.

The 2013 census Quick Stats about Greater Christchurch focus on population, housing, and economic information.

The figures show that while people moved out of the central city after the 2010/11 earthquakes, most stayed in the Greater Christchurch area.

The Greater Christchurch population increased slightly (up 2.6 per cent). However, where people were living at census time in March 2013 changed, and the number of unoccupied dwellings increased significantly, up 9381 to 20,949.

Since the 2006 census, the number of people living in Christchurch dropped 2.0 per cent. In contrast, Waimakariri District grew by 7000 people (16.7 per cent) and Selwyn District by 11,000 (32.6 per cent), Statistics NZ said.

The face of Greater Christchurch has changed, with more young men and fewer young women living there in 2013 than in 2006. There were 1974 more men aged 15–29 years, and 1335 fewer women in the same age group. Overall, there were more young men (52.3 per cent) than young women in the Greater Christchurch area in 2013.

The proportion of Maori living in Greater Christchurch increased 12.4 per cent between 2006 and 2013, to reach 34,371.

The numbers of people from Ireland, the Philippines, and India who were living in the area also increased significantly from 2006.

On the jobs front, construction replaced manufacturing as the biggest industry in Greater Christchurch. The area had 9500 more construction jobs than in 2006.

The number of people working in the central city halved between the censuses. The number was down 50.5 per cent, from 39,213 to 19,419, as jobs moved out to the suburbs.

"This census information will be important to the people and organisations planning and working on Greater Christchurch's rebuild. It will also help the people of Christchurch to understand how their city has changed since the quakes," Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said.

Highlights from 2013 census QuickStats about greater Christchurch:

Population

• Central Christchurch population down 35.9 per cent, Christchurch down 2.0 per cent, Selwyn up 32.6 per cent, and Waimakariri up 16.7 per cent.

• 36.6 per cent fewer occupied dwellings in central Christchurch than in 2006.

• Two-thirds moved out of damaged areas of Christchurch but remained in Greater Christchurch.

Age

• 52.3 per cent of people aged 15–29 years were male.

• 4.0 per cent fewer children aged 5–14 years – down 3.2 per cent nationally.

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Maori

• Bigger percentage increase for Maori (12.4 per cent) than in Wellington or Auckland.

Ethnicity

• Of people in Greater Christchurch who were born in Ireland, 54.5 per cent arrived after the earthquakes

• 31.1 per cent arrived from the Philippines after the earthquakes

• 37.0 per cent arrived from India after the earthquakes

Education

• 9.4 per cent drop in adult students since 2006.

• About 22 per cent drop in Asian students.

Employment

• Unemployment in Greater Christchurch was 4.7 per cent in 2013 – national rate was 7.1 per cent.

• Construction replaced manufacturing as most-common industry – 1 in 8 adults worked in construction at census time, and there were 9500 more construction jobs since 2006.

• Number of people at work in central Christchurch halved.

• Increased work force in Middleton, Riccarton South, Addington, Yaldhurst, Islington, Russley, Hornby North, and Avonhead West.

- Stuff

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