Diversity up, home ownership down in Waikato

Last updated 14:33 03/12/2013

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The Waikato has the third lowest rate of home ownership, the second highest rate of te reo Maori speakers and 17.9 per cent of its residents were born overseas, Census figures released today show.

The 2013 Census found the Waikato mirrored national trends with its population becoming more diverse.

Results show of the overseas-born residents, 31.9 percent were born in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and 25.3 percent in Asia - 6.9 percent of the Waikato population recorded their ethnicity as Asian.

The Waikato has the third-highest percentage of Asian people by population in New Zealand - equal with Canterbury.

More than 1 in 5 people in Waikato indicated they are of Maori ethnicity, the fifth-highest percentage by region after Gisborne, Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke's Bay.

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

- The Waikato region's rate of home ownership was 62.7 percent in 2013, the third-lowest in New Zealand after the Gisborne and Auckland regions.

- The median income for people aged 15 years and over in the Waikato region is $27,900 in 2013. This compares with a New Zealand median income of $28,500. The median income for Waikato increased 15.8 percent since 2006.

- Of people aged 15 years and over in Waikato, 16 percent said they had a university degree or equivalent in the 2013 Census, compared with 12.3 percent in 2006.

- After Auckland, Waikato has the highest number of te reo Maori speakers, with more than  21,000 people able to have a conversation in the language. Hindi has now overtaken French as the third (after English and Maori) most common language spoken, almost doubling to 3,855 speakers since 2006.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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