500,000 added to population in last 10 years, statistics show

New Zealand, with a population increase of 500,000 in the past decade, is growing faster than Australia and China a new "snapshot" into Kiwi life shows.

Statistics New Zealand put out its New Zealand in Profile 2015 yesterday, an overview of people, economy and environment.

According to the report, New Zealand's population is growing at 1.52 per cent annually, faster than Australia, China, the United States, Britain and Germany.

It also shows it costs an average of $5.87 for a 400ml glass of beer, $1.09 more than what we paid in 2009; and fish and chips have risen from $5.32 to $5.91.

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However, the average price for a loaf of white sliced bread costs the same today as five years ago at $1.80.

About one-third of our population owned homes with a mortgage and an almost equal proportion were living in rented homes, paying an average $290.20 in weekly rent.

Since 2009, median hourly earnings have risen from $19.47 to $21.94 and weekly earnings from $750 to $863.

"We know people looking at moving to New Zealand want to know about the cost of housing and basic essentials, how much they might earn and what the main industries are," Deputy government statistician Colin Lynch said. "We also know that for people who already live here, it's useful to have a one-off snapshot of statistics about the country."

Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich said that while the price of some goods had risen because of inflation, in some categories tough negotiations and retail discounting had resulted in prices falling.

"Dollar bread has stripped millions and millions of dollars of value out of the bread category," she said.

A Countdown spokesperson said that in the past five years, prices had gone up 0.87 per cent across all items it sold.

June Ranson, New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment chairwoman, said the report would help would-be migrants make informed decisions.

"People migrate to New Zealand for a lifestyle change, safety and security and we offer a world class education," she said. "The biggest issue for migrants is where in New Zealand they want to live as the issue of housing costs, availability and infrastructure will present issues in Auckland."