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Soaring number of New Zealanders aged 85+
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  13 May 2011

National Population Estimates: March 2011 quarter  –  Media Release

The number of New Zealanders aged 85 years and over (85+) has more than trebled in the last 30 years, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"Around 1 out of every 60 New Zealanders was aged 85+ at 31 March 2011, up from almost 1 out of every 150 New Zealanders in 1981," Population Statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said. "Longevity has increased over time, resulting in a greater number of people in the older ages than seen previously."

In 2011 the number of females aged 85+ (47,300) was more than double the number of males aged 85+ (21,500). In comparison, in 1981 the number of females aged 85+ (15,500) was almost triple the number of males (5,800). While the number of both males and females has increased significantly over the 30-year period, the changing proportion reflects male longevity increasing more than female longevity.

The estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4,403,000 at 31 March 2011. The population increased by 41,200 (0.9 percent) in the March 2011 year; natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) and net migration contributed 34,700 and 6,600, respectively. This population growth is less than the 56,000 (1.3 percent) population increase in the March 2010 year.

 

Geoff Bascand 13 May 2011
Government Statistician

END

For media enquiries contact: 
Adele Quinn
Christchurch (03) 964 8700
Email: demography@stats.govt.nz

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