New Zealand population rises
Last updated 12:47 26/10/2010

New Zealand's population has grown to more than 4.3 million, data released today shows.

In the year to June 30 population grew by 51,900 (1.2 percent) to 4,367,700, Statistics New Zealand said.

The growth resulted from a natural increase (excess of births over deaths) of 35,400 and a net permanent and long-term (PLT) migration gain of 16,500 people.

New Zealand continued to be a highly urbanised country, with 78 out of every 100 New Zealanders living in either a main or secondary urban area.

Of the 16 regions, Auckland's population grew at the fastest rate - 1.6 percent - in the June 2010 year.

Auckland has been the fastest-growing region for the past nine years and the only region with a growth rate above the 1.2 percent national average.

Natural increase made the main contribution to the rise in the Auckland region's population, accounting for 69 percent of growth.

"Auckland region's population has a relatively young age structure, with high proportions in the childbearing ages," acting population statistics manager Kimberly Cullen said today.

"This results in a high number of births and gives the region built-in momentum for future growth."

Outside of Auckland, all other regions recorded population increases in the June 2010 year.

Population growth rates ranged from 0.4 percent (West Coast) to 1.2 percent (Waikato and Canterbury).

"New Zealand experienced a rise in net migration in the June 2010 year because of fewer people leaving the country on a permanent or long-term basis," Ms Cullen said.

"The rise in net migration, together with a high level of natural increase, has bolstered population growth in most of New Zealand's regions."

Most territorial authority areas (cities and districts) also experienced population growth.

Of the country's 73 territorial authority areas, 68 had population increases, compared with 64 in 2009 and 59 in 2008.

The Selwyn and Queenstown-Lakes districts had the highest growth rates (both up 2.5 percent).

Other territorial authority areas with high growth rates included Manukau City and Rodney District (both up 1.9 percent), and Waitakere City (up 1.8 percent).

Over half of all New Zealanders (54 percent) lived in the four main urban areas - Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch - as at June 30.

From here.