Story: Population change

Urban, rural and metropolitan population, 1881–2006

Urban, rural and metropolitan population, 1881–2006

Most New Zealanders have lived in urban areas since the 1910s. Urbanisation has been a consistently upward trend since the 19th century, whereas the numbers living in rural areas have remained relatively static and therefore fallen as a proportion of the total population. The metropolitan population (people in urban areas with a population exceeding 100,000) has increased in tandem with the wider urban population. The figures in this graph before 1926 include estimates of the Māori population, which wasn’t included in official statistics until the 1926 census.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: T. Papps, ‘Growth and distribution of population.’ In Population of New Zealand / Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 12, 2 vols. New York: United Nations, 1985, vol. 1, tables 12 & 19; Ian Pool, Te[no-lexicon] iwi [/no-lexicon]Maori: a New Zealand population, past, present & projected. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1991; Statistics New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Ian Pool and Natalie Jackson, 'Population change - Pākehā geographic distribution and labour force', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 April 2024)

Story by Ian Pool and Natalie Jackson, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 23 Aug 2018 with assistance from Natalie Jackson