Story: National income and GDP

Growth in real GDP and population, 1870–2005

Eliminating the effects of price inflation on gross domestic product (GDP) provides an indication of New Zealand’s real GDP changes, but growth may simply be caused by a larger population – for an individual New Zealander, the growth may not have resulted in an improved quality of life. One way to correct for this is to work out the growth in GDP per person. This table shows that while in some periods, such as the 1870s, real GDP increased markedly, the growth rate is quite modest when the huge increase of population during that period is taken into account. On the other hand, in the 1860s both the population of New Zealand and per capita GDP rose considerably.

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Source: Phil Briggs, Looking at the numbers: a view of New Zealand’s economic history. Wellington: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, 2007, p. 42

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How to cite this page:

Jeff Cope, 'National income and GDP - Growth in GDP', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Jeff Cope, published 11 Mar 2010