Imagine a city that combined Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin - with room for Hamilton, Tauranga and Palmerston North - that also boasts an impressive tower, access to both coasts and a rugby team whose time is surely coming again soon.

Sounds like a paradise, doesn't it?

It's Auckland.

A new map graphic from the statistics wizards at Infometrics has revealed the true size of Auckland, a behemoth whose population last year was 35 per cent of New Zealand's total, or enough to match the populations of the next 12 largest urban areas combined.

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12 other urban areas see their populations fit within Auckland. Photo / Infometrics
12 other urban areas see their populations fit within Auckland. Photo / Infometrics

That means that the population of Auckland matches that of Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Napier, Porirua, Lower Hutt, Rotorua, Whangarei and New Plymouth combined.

The map, by David Friggens, divides Auckland into 12 areas whose populations match those of the other urban areas around the country.

It shows that the population of the next largest city, Christchurch - at 377,000 - matches only a portion of Central Auckland.

The map also reveals that the population of Dunedin (104,000) matches that of northwest Auckland alone, if you include Greenhithe and Beach Haven.

The rest of West Auckland still fits the population of Lower Hutt and Palmerston North.

Another graphic reveals some surprising comparisons between some of Auckland's smaller areas, and towns and cities across New Zealand.

Auckland's smaller areas have populations to equal towns around NZ. Photo / Infometrics
Auckland's smaller areas have populations to equal towns around NZ. Photo / Infometrics

In 2018, the rapidly growing Hibiscus Coast had a population of 49,000, enough to match that of Nelson.

Waiheke West (the end with all the people on it) boasted 9000 residents, or the same as Wanaka.

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Pukekohe and Taupo share more than just great race tracks, with each area registering a population of 24,000.

North Shore or South Auckland? Which tribe should you join?

All these people provide some serious financial muscle, with Auckland punching slightly above its weight in proving 38 per cent of our national GDP from 35 per cent of our population.

But it still can't produce a winning Super Rugby team.

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