More Census information

The 2023 Census shows us some interesting information about which places in New Zealand have grown since the 2018 Census. The Census looked at regional council areas (which are quite large) as well as city or district councils.

The region with the highest growth in the country was Tasman, in the South Island, with a population increase of 10.3 percent from the 2018 Census. Another region in the South Island with a large change in population was Canterbury, where it grew from just under 600,000 to just over 650,000, or an increase of 8.6%. The fastest growing regions in the North Island were Northland, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty. The population in Waikato rose from just over 450,000 in 2018 to just under 500,000 in 2023, or an increase of 8.9 percent. The populations in both Northland and the Bay of Plenty increased by 8.3%.

Looking at the smaller council areas, Selwyn district and Queenstown-Lakes district grew the most, with rises of 29 percent and 22.1 percent respectively. The main centres did not see such a significant change. Tauranga city grew by 11.5 percent, Hamilton city by 8.6 percent, and Christchurch city by 6.1 percent.  Auckland’s growth rate halved in comparison to the previous Census, from 11 percent in 2018 to 5.4 percent in 2023. Dunedin city and Invercargill city grew by only 2.1 and 2.6 percent respectively. The population of Wellington city saw 0 percent growth, and in fact declined by 48 people, though the neighbouring cities of Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua grew by 2.9, 4, and 5.1 percent respectively.

It is possible that these changes were due to higher costs in cities. Houses were expensive to buy, and rents rose, so some people may have moved to the outskirts of cities or neighbouring areas where living costs may be lower. In addition, if people can work from home or want a different lifestyle, they may prefer to live in beautiful scenic areas such as Queenstown or Tasman.

Here is a link to some maps of the North Island and the South Island, if you would like to see where these regions are.


halve (verb) – to decrease by a half

outskirts – the parts of a city or town that are furthest from the centre

scenic (adjective) – surrounded by views of beautiful countryside

lifestyle – the way someone lives, including where they live, what kind of work they do, and what kinds of activities they do

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.