Updated projections indicate continued growth of New Zealand's broad and overlapping European, Māori, Asian, and Pacific populations, Statistics New Zealand said today.
Under mid-range series 6 of the updated 2006-base national ethnic population projections, the 'European or Other (including New Zealander)' population is projected to increase by an average of 0.4 percent a year from 3.21 million in 2006 to 3.47 million in 2026; the Māori population by 1.3 percent a year from 620,000 to 810,000; the Asian population by 3.4 percent a year from 400,000 to 790,000; and the Pacific population by 2.4 percent a year from 300,000 to 480,000.
"The different growth rates mainly reflect different age structures, different fertility levels, and different migration patterns," Population Statistics manager Denise McGregor said.
The growth of the Māori and Pacific populations is driven by births, which can be attributed to their higher fertility rates and a younger age structure. By comparison, the slower growth of the European population largely reflects lower fertility rates and an older age structure.
The relatively rapid growth of the Asian population is mainly driven by migration, with net migration contributing about 250,000 people over the 20-year projection period.
Births will account for about 180,000 of the projected Asian population growth.
Ethnic population projections are derived to provide information about New Zealand's changing demographic structure.
They provide information for local and ethnic communities to understand changes in their population size and composition. The projections also assist a variety of planning purposes. Series 6 is one of 11 alternative projections derived for each ethnic group.