New Zealand has added the equivalent of the population of the Waikato region since 2013 with net migration the main driver, Statistics NZ says

Photo: Westpac NZ.

New Zealand has added the equivalent of the population of the Waikato region since 2013 as the country's population inches towards five million.

Statistics NZ estimates NZ's resident population reached 4,885,300 at June 30 this year. NZ’s population grew 1.9% in the June 2018 year, down from 2.1% in 2017. These growth rates are high by historical NZ standards and top the latest growth rates of 1.6% for Australia, where the population recently hit 25 million well ahead of earlier expectations, and 1.2% for the global population.

“Net migration has been the main driver of population growth in recent years, reaching a peak of 72,400 migrants in the July 2017 year,” Statistics NZ's population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers says. “However, natural increase continues to contribute around 30,000 people a year.”

"The latest population figure is up 443,200 from 30 June 2013, which is equivalent to adding the population of the Waikato region since 2013."

( estimates the NZ population will reach 4.9 million on August 29. Here's Statistics NZ's population clock).

More young men than young women & more middle aged women than middle aged men

Statistics NZ says NZ's population is growing in most age groups, with the latest estimates showing more women than men aged over 30. In contrast men outnumber women at all ages under 30. The balance of males to females ranges from 14,600 more males than females in the 20 to 24 age group, to 14,000 more females than males between 45 and 49.

“The age-sex distribution is a result of a combination of drivers,” says Theyers. “These include international migration trends, sex ratios at birth, women generally living longer than men, and New Zealand’s ageing population.”

According to Statistics NZ, typically 105 males are born for every 100 females in NZ, and recent trends show more young males on work or student visas have migrated to NZ than any other demographic group.

"The middle-age and older age groups have more females, as females generally live longer than males. The growing size of New Zealand’s older age groups is contributing to this ratio. People aged 65 years and older now make up 15% of the population compared with 12 percent 20 years ago," says Statistics NZ.

Meanwhile, the median age - meaning half are younger, and half older, than this age - of males and females in 2018 was 35.6 years and 38.2 years, respectively.

The charts below come from Statistics NZ.


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So we are almost halfway to being what Transpower terms a 'Vibrant Haven' scenario....10 million souls.

Hmmmmm. Feeling Half-Vibrant already, are y'all?


I feel we have enough people, much as I love you all I have no desire to share with more. Doubling the population again would likely ruin much of what is so special about New Zealand in my view.


Agree. I also think this Tourism s(c)urge is equally as bad. What's the point of living in a beautiful country if every scenic spot of note is overrun with people?

I went to Mission Bay over the weekend. Crikey, that place is incredibly busy compared to a few years back and the traffic is...stopped, basically.

Sign of our success / good problem to have.


You forgot to mention John Key's favourite response - record migration shows that everyone wants to hang out with winners.
Apparently, to hang out with the winners you need a pair of functioning hands and legs, accompanied by no perceived skill-set except doing what the head chef, retail/ cafe manager asks you to do.

I think the low bar we set for accepting permanent migrants into our country and public system makes us the losers in this equation!

If they come from lower performing economies than our own how will they improve our economy?


10 million meh, come on where is your Kiwi spirit? We can do better than that, with a bit of effort we could reach 50 or even 100 million! Think how much Auckland houses would be worth then, we could be the richest people on earth!

Come on guys can we have a rational discussion about NZ's population? Tell you what, we can frame it as a discussion about an imaginary population of grey people of no particular race, gender or religion, but we need to have this discussion as a country before we sleep walk into over population with all it's associated problems.


Excess young males is not something that bodes well for social stability. The Government should really have thought ahead when issuing visas to ensure gender balance.

looking at the graph, it could be that our men leave once they are into their working lives.

But reading the data tells a different story. We are importing the gender imbalances of our main source countries.

Possibly but can you link to data showing a gender imbalance in our immigration numbers?

It could also be that we are deliberately importing more males than females due to our selection process, but we will never know unless we are more informed about the decisions of our government regarding immigration and population size.

Well you used to be able to. Until about a year ago they published a .csv of a summary of the INZ permanent residency immigration database. Very interesting too. I remember discovering how NZ prefers investors of Chinese origin than Indian (about forty to one) and I was pleased to discover that gender balance was maintained (maybe more wifes than husbands in the partnership category?). However for the last year their website has this message: ""For privacy reasons the CSV files have been temporarily removed from the website. The decision follows concerns raised that some information previously published has breached individuals’ privacy. INZ has removed the files for the time being while we review how we provide this information in a way that ensures INZ meets its legal obligation to protect personal information."". As a database programmer I know it would take a couple of minutes to remove any potential for privacy breaches. I think they want to control what the public can deduce from the stats. Which is a pity because now we survive on rumour not facts - for example the often stated 'fact' about elderly Chinese arriving just to get super was not true to any significant extent over the five years prior to freezing the family reunion category.

Don't worry, if the BBC reports on it they will be sure to only show picture of women and children.

Yeah, but a surfeit of older single women, we could become the cougar capital of the world

Older third world immigrant women...teeth included?

Haha thinking more along the lines of the dumped kiwi wives whose ex's have traded them in on a newer model.

Older third world immigrant women...teeth included?


How depressing.


Welcome to the third world.

Unfortunately almost every single western country on earth is undergoing some form of extreme population replacement. Historians will marvel how we let this happen. Perhaps western civilisation will become a meme, like "Philistine" or "Pyrrhic victory".

I like that a 'Pyrrhic Victory' - or 'economic victory at too great a social cost.'

London now has a population where 50% of the inhabitants weren't born in the UK. It looks like it could happen even quicker in NZ if current rates of immigration are maintained for a generation. In Europe the Barcelona Declaration of 1995 was rarely talked about in the media and has been forgotten about in the 23 years since. However no one can deny the impact that it has had on large parts of urban Europe and general social cohesion. Do other such agreements exist elsewhere in the World?

Isn't Auckland up pretty high, 40% or so?

Really kind of highlights that the 3% foreign buyers figure is only part of the picture.

Basically a document outlining the plan to dismantle European civilization and establish a totalitarian system of thought control with the introduction of laws and rules that we never needed before in the interests of improving the economy and stability of the wider region. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Do we have the infrastructure to support ???


It doesn't matter anymore as even this government has flipflopped on curbing inward migration like the previous one so we might as get used to our infrastructure being of third world grade.
Lees-Galloway claims the work visa tweaks announced last weeks will reduce international student influx by 1200-6000 from current levels; this is against a pre-election promise of a 20-30k cut in net migration numbers each year.
At this pace, by the time we spend years and tens of billions of dollars in building urban infrastructure, we'd have roughly a million more to worry about.

So Mr Lees-Galloway is convinced they are arriving for study not residency. Maybe that is why has he extended the period they can stayon in NZ with a work visa after their studies are complete?

Anyway I shouldn't criticise Mr Lees-Galloway for timidity when at least he admits their might be a problem with corruption, rorts and exploitation unlike his predecessor.

The Statistics NZ population clock that the link goes to is pretty interesting. A birth happens every 8 minutes, a death every 14 minutes and one person arrives by immigration every 8 minutes ~180 a day - basically a 737 landing and unloading daily. All kinda crazy when you think about it in the context of minutes. While watching 7 sharp you’ve got 4 babies, 2 dead people and 4 new offshore residents.

NZ is an attractive (and safe) country to reside. With modern technologies, it's also much less isolated. So hardly surprising that more and more people want to live here (and less and less people want to live in countries like USA and UK.)

But where is everyone going to live? If NZ's population grows to 5, 6, 7million people the infrastructure will be swamped...... and there's already a shortage of houses.


As long as world population grows and that life expectancy grows NZ population will grow, wether we like it or not. I have long suggested a very controversial maximum 2 kids per 2 parents to stem the harm on this planet from ever increasing population

Well I mean some countries actually have the capability to prevent rapid population growth with radical policies like "immigration control", but obviously that won't work for New Zealands unique conditions.


What is the rationale for immigration now?
Why is the NZ government pushing hard and favouring Sotheast Asian immigrants?
Is there a UN ‘melting pot’ ideology behind this strategy?
What opportunity do voters have to influence this mass immigration policy?
Is our own government trying to bury us in diverse people groups with no recognition of our dominant heritage?
Has this Govt reverted to BAU on immigration?

Why do we have 105 males born for every 100 females? That is pretty unusual isn't it? What is the cause?

Because many men are idiots & die early - therefore nature adds a few more to make up for it! lol
"men are at a higher risk of dying than women not only due to sex differentials in natural death rates, but also due to higher risk from external causes (accidents, injuries, violence, war casualties)"

Also suicide and self abuse through alcohol and drugs.

Yes, but is that due to the shortage of females???

They're more susceptible to genetic diseases because of the Y chromosome thing.

What is NOT talked about is how immigration could rapidly change our political system and policy agenda - new kinds of parties, etc - should be entertaining

Yeah we could have the Islam Party who will lobby for the introduction of Sharia Law, or CPC-NZ to push Communism.

Plus the rise of nationalism and the far Right to counter this.
Then the suppression and criminalization of discourse and debate.
Most entertaining.
There are always consequences and they are largely unforeseen although strangely obvious once they occur.


Has our individual quality of life gone up or gone down? There seems to be growing consensus that overall it has gone down somewhat; stagnant wages, more people per household, silly house prices, roads don't work so well, increased homelessness. We have got the Asian drug gangs and presumably sex grooming gangs. At least we haven't had the honour killings, bombs and suicide car attacks as yet, but presumably we will get them in due course. People bring their culture with them and it's not always nice.

Car burning seems to be the latest thing: