Recently released data from Statistics NZ shows the Horowhenua district increased in population by over 3000 people between the last two census counts.

The wider Horizons region increased by over 16,000 people.

New Zealand's 34th Census of Population and Dwellings was held on 6 March 2018, measuring a range of statistical data about Kiwis, including those usually resident in a district and region, and those present there on census night.

The census before that was held in 2013, with comparisons made and statistics analysed for the five years in between.

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The Horowhenua district had 33,261 people living in it as 'usually resident' in March 2018, an increase of 10.5 per cent since the previous census in 2013, or an average increase of two percent per year for those years.

Manawatū-Wanganui region had 238,797, an increase of 7.2 per cent or 1.4 per cent on average per year.

This is in stark contrast to the period of time between the 2006 and 2013 census counts, which showed the population remained nearly the same, increasing in Horowhenua by just 228 people, or 0.8 per cent even though there were seven years between those two census counts rather than five.

For the wider region this number was a 0.1 per cent increase for that time period.

The number of people in the Horizons region counted on census night in 2018, which can differ from those 'usually resident', was 241,182 - an increase of seven per cent, or 15,771 people from 2013.

Between 2006 and 2013 the count actually decreased by 285 people from 225,696 to 225,411.

New Zealand
New Zealand

Despite census data indicating population growth for the Horowhenua district between 2013 and 2018, the area was by no means among the highest districts in the country, with increases of 38.7 per cent for Queenstown, 35.8 per cent for Selwyn, 20.5 per cent for Central Otago, 19.1 per cent in Tauranga, 17.5 per cent in the Western Bay Of Plenty, 19.3 per cent in Waikato, and just over 11 per cent for Central Hawke's Bay and Hastings.

Regionally, in comparison with Horizons' 7.2 per cent increase, Northland showed an 18.1 per cent increase in usual residents, Bay Of Plenty showed a 15.2 per cent increase, Waikato increased 13.5 per cent, Auckland was up 11 per cent, Hawke's Bay increased by 10 per cent and Wellington and Taranaki were at 7.5 and 7.3 per cent increases respectively.

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In the South Island, the highest growth regions were Canterbury, Otago and Tasman.