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National Ethnic Population Projections: 2013(base)–2038
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  21 May 2015
Definitions

About national ethnic population projections

National ethnic population projections indicate the future population usually living in New Zealand for four broad and overlapping ethnic groups: 'European or Other (including New Zealander)', Māori, Asian, and Pacific. Each ethnic population consists of all people who identify with ethnicities within that ethnic group. People who identify with more than one ethnicity are included in each ethnic population they identify with.

How ethnic population projections are used

Ethnic population projections contribute to an understanding of New Zealand's changing demography. Local and ethnic communities use them to understand their changing populations. They are used in planning and policy-making in areas such as health and education. For example, changes in the number and proportion of people at different ages can have implications for future need for services.

Definition of terms

Assumption: statement about a future course of behaviour (eg fertility, mortality, migration) from which projections of the population are derived.

Base population: the starting population for the projections.

Estimated resident population: an estimate of all people who usually live in New Zealand at a given date. It excludes visitors from overseas. It includes:

  • all residents present in New Zealand and counted by the census (census usually resident population count)
  • residents who are temporarily overseas (who are not included in the census)
  • an adjustment for residents missed or counted more than once by the census (net census undercount).

Ethnicity: the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can identify with more than one ethnicity. Ethnicity is different from ancestry, birthplace, and nationality. For example, people can identify with Māori ethnicity even though they may not be descended from a Māori ancestor. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with Māori ethnicity even though they are descended from a Māori ancestor.

See Review of the measurement of ethnicity or the ethnicity classification for more information about ethnicity including information about the Statistical Standard for Ethnicity 2005.

'European or Other (including New Zealander)': includes people who belong to the 'European' or 'Other' ethnicity groups. People who belong to both groups are only counted once. Almost all people in the 'Other' ethnicity group belong to the New Zealander sub-group.

Separate projections are not available for the 'European' or for the 'Other (including New Zealander)' ethnic groups. This is because sufficient demographic data is available to derive projections for the combined ethnic grouping, but not for the separate ethnic groups. This approach is consistent with Guidelines for using ethnicity data: 2006 Census.

Inter-ethnic mobility: people changing their ethnic identification over time. This may reflect a person's cultural affiliations changing over time. Or it may occur when different people respond to the ethnicity question. For example, the ethnicity of babies and young children is usually identified by their parents. However, in a later census when these children are old enough to complete their own forms, they decide which ethnicity they identify with. This may differ from the ethnicity identified by their parents. Inter-ethnic mobility can also occur when different ethnicities are reported for a person in different collections (eg birth registrations, death registrations, census).

Life expectancy (period): the average length of life remaining at a given age, assuming people experience the age-specific death rates of a given period from the given age onwards. For example, life expectancy at birth for the period 2012–14 is based on death rates in that period, and takes no account of changes in death rates after that period.

Median age: half the population is younger, and half the population is older, than this age.

Median projection: the 50th percentile, which indicates an estimated 50 percent chance the actual result will be lower, and a 50 percent chance the actual result will be higher, than this percentile.

Percentile: indicates the distribution of values (such as projection results or assumptions). For example, the 25th percentile indicates an estimated 25 percent chance that the actual result will be lower, and a 75 percent chance that the actual result will be higher, than this percentile.

Percentiles are non-additive except the 50th percentile (median). For example, percentiles for the population aged 15–39 and 40–64 years cannot be added together to give the equivalent percentile for the population aged 15–64 years.

Shading in graphs indicates the chance that actual results will fall within a certain range. Different shading is used to distinguish different ranges.

Projection: indication of the future characteristics of a population based on an assessment of past trends and assumptions about the future course of demographic behaviour (eg fertility, mortality, migration).

Resident population concept: a statistical basis for a population in terms of those who usually live in a given area at a given time. For example, the 'estimated resident population' of New Zealand is an estimate of all people who usually live in New Zealand at a given date, including New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas, but excluding visitors from overseas.

Stochastic (probabilistic) projection: a projection that varies randomly according to the probability distributions of the assumptions (eg about fertility, mortality, migration).

Total fertility rate (period): the average number of live births that women would have during their life if they experienced the age-specific fertility rates of a given period. The total fertility rate for the year 2014 is based on age-specific fertility rates in that year, and takes no account of changes in age-specific fertility rates after that year.

Total paternity rate (period): the average number of live births that men would have during their life if they experienced the age-specific paternity rates of a given period. In these ethnic population projections, it specifically refers to births that men of a given ethnic group have with women not of that ethnic group. For example, the average number of live births that Māori men would have during their life with non-Māori women.

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