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Population growth highest in three years
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  12 November 2009

National Population Estimates: September 2009 quarter  –  Media Release

The estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4,331,600 at 30 September 2009, Statistics New Zealand said today. The population increased by 51,700 (1.2 percent) in the September 2009 year, the highest growth in three years. In the September 2008 year, the population increased by 39,900 (0.9 percent).

Although the main contribution to population growth during the September 2009 year came from natural increase (excess of births over deaths), the higher growth compared with the September 2008 year was due to increased net migration. Natural increase contributed 34,700, down 800 on the previous September year. Permanent and long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 17,000 in the latest year, up from a net migration gain of 4,400 in the September 2008 year.

At 30 September 2009, the median age for males was 35.5 years (half are younger, and half older, than this age). The median age for females was 37.5 years. The median age increased 2.2 years for males and 2.6 years for females in the 10 years ended September 2009.

The age composition of New Zealand's population has changed over the past decade, due to population ageing. The proportion of children (aged 0–14 years) has fallen from 23 percent to 21 percent, while the proportion of people aged 15–39 years has fallen from 37 percent to 34 percent. In contrast, the proportion of people aged 40–64 years has increased, from 29 percent to 32 percent, and the proportion aged 65 years and over is also up, from 12 percent to 13 percent. The rise in proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is expected to continue, a trend also occurring in other countries.

Geoff Bascand 12 November 2009
Government Statistician

END

For media enquiries contact: 
Denise McGregor
Wellington 04 931 4303
Email: demography@stats.govt.nz.

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