NZ population expected to reach five million by 2026

By Kieran Campbell

Projections by Statistics New  Zealand suggest the  population will reach  five million by 2026. Photo / NZ Herald
Projections by Statistics New Zealand suggest the population will reach five million by 2026. Photo / NZ Herald

New Zealand's population growth is expected to slow over the next 10 years and at the same time an increasing number of Kiwis are leaving to live overseas.

Projections by Statistics New Zealand suggest the population will reach five million by 2026.

A new report released today, called New Zealand in Profile: 2013, shows that the population has been growing quicker than it is expected to in the future.

It has grown by about 480,000 to 4.4 million since 2002 but is expected to grow only by 407,000 to 4.8 million by 2022.

The number of Kiwis leaving the country has grown by 300,000 a year since 2007, from 1.9 million to 2.2 million in 2012.

In the same period, only an extra 100,000 international visitors a year have been arriving in New Zealand, up to 2.6 million in 2012.

The New Zealand in Profile report has been released by Statistics New Zealand to celebrate the International Year of Statistics.

"As part of the celebration, we'll be working to increase public awareness of the power and impact of statistics in all aspects of society. This latest publication is helping to do just that," government statistician Geoff Bascand said.

Bread, milk, lamb, beer, apples, petrol and fish and chips have all gone up in price in the last five years - but the cost of a GP visit has dropped $3 to $34.97.

More than 87 per cent of New Zealanders feel they have "excellent, very good or good" health and are "satisfied or very satisfied" with their lives.

The same amount say they are "satisfied or very satisfied" with the state of native bush, forests, nature reserves and open green spaces in New Zealand.

The number of sheep being farmed continues to drop, falling by almost 7 million to 31.2m from 2007 to 2012, while other major grazing stocks stay mostly unchanged.

The mining industry continues to grow the fastest (20.8 per cent from 2007 to 2012) followed by the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry (17.6 per cent), finance and insurance services (13.4 per cent) and health care and social assistance (11.5 per cent).

Construction slumped by 13.5 per cent in the five year period and the only other industries to experience negative growth were manufacturing (-8 per cent) and rental, hiring and real estate services (-0.1 per cent).

Australia makes up more than 50 per cent of international visitors to New Zealand, with 1.17m arriving here last year.

The only three other countries with more than 100,000 visitors to New Zealand last year were the United Kingdom (214,448), the United States (182,816) and China (175,488).

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- Graphics courtesy of Statistics New Zealand

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