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Purpose and summary

Inside Auckland 2013–15 presents a profile of the individuals and households living in the Auckland region and examines how the region differs from the rest of New Zealand.

Why focus on the Auckland region? With an estimated population of 1.57 million at June 2015, Auckland makes up one-third of New Zealand’s total population. As well as being the most populated region, it is also the most multicultural, with half of all international migrants arriving in Auckland. Between 2006 and 2015, the region’s population grew 14.3 percent, compared with growth of only 7.6 percent for the rest of New Zealand. Close to 40 percent of New Zealand’s population is projected to live in the Auckland region by 2043.

Summary of key points

As New Zealand’s most populated and metropolitan region, Auckland has characteristics that make it distinct from the rest of the country:

  • Auckland has a younger and more ethnically diverse population than the rest of New Zealand.
  • Auckland has experienced strong population growth – nearly half of New Zealand’s net gain of international migrants occurred in the Auckland region in the June 2015 year.
  • The Auckland unemployment rate of 6.2 percent was 0.2 percentage points higher than the national rate (6.0 percent) in the September 2015 quarter.
  • There is some difference in unemployment rates and income between Auckland’s urban areas. For example, the southern Auckland zone had the highest average unemployment rate (over the last five years to September 2015) while the western Auckland urban zone had the lowest median weekly income (in the June 2015 quarter).
  • Median weekly income for wage and salary earners was higher in Auckland – $950 compared with $863 for the rest of New Zealand in the June 2015 quarter. However, there was a smaller difference in median weekly income from all sources for all people.
  • In the September 2015 quarter, 10 percent of Auckland adults were participating in formal study, compared with 8 percent for the rest of New Zealand.
  • Auckland has a workforce that is more skilled than that for the rest of New Zealand – more people have high-level qualifications and are in highly skilled jobs.
  • Population growth is placing pressure on housing costs in Auckland. In 2014/15, Auckland households spent an average of 18.8 percent of their income on housing, compared with 14.4 percent for the rest of New Zealand.
  • In 2013, Auckland households had lower levels of home ownership (61 percent), compared with the rest of New Zealand (66 percent).
  • In 2013, Auckland’s average household size was the highest in New Zealand and more than 200,000 people in Auckland lived in crowded conditions.
  • Aucklanders experience similar levels of loneliness as the rest of New Zealand. They have less contact with family than other New Zealanders, but have a similar level of contact with friends.
  • Auckland has a significantly lower household disability rate (19 percent) than the national household rate (23 percent) according to the 2013 Disability Survey.
  • Despite social and economic differences, life satisfaction for Aucklanders is similar to the rest of New Zealand.
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