Asian birth rates in New Zealand increasing

Statistics New Zealand released their projected population figures for the next 20 years. While Maori and Pacific birth rates are high, because many of their mothers are young, Asian birth rates will probably be higher. By 2030, people of Asian ethnicity will probably be 22% of the population. In the latest census (2013), Asian people were 12% of the population. Maori were nearly 15%, Pacific Islanders 7.4%. European New Zealanders were 78%.

These figures are based on statistics about births and deaths today but also based on immigration laws and job opportunities. Immigrants tend to be young and therefore likely to have more babies. Currently there are high numbers of Asian immigrants although that could change if the economy is not doing well. We don’t know if the New Zealand life style – for example free school education – is a factor in wanting more children. This statistic, in fact, does not suggest that each Asian mother will have more than 2 children. It could be based on more Asian mothers, each having 2 children.

In the years 1980 to 2015, the birth rate averaged 2.02 births per woman of child-bearing age. Last year it dropped a little to 1.87 but that may change.

Since many immigrants prefer to live in Auckland where there is already a bigger population of Maori and Pacific Islanders than elsewhere in New Zealand, the population of Auckland is expected to grow from about 1.5m now to 2m by the early 2030s.


• projected – expect number, based on information that StatsNZ has now.
• census – official count of the number of people in a country; the next census will be 8 March 2018


1. What factors do parent consider when deciding the number of children that they want?
2. Would the decision be different in New Zealand than in their own country?
3. Do you think the number of immigrants coming from Asian countries will increase? What factors determine this?

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