Subnational Ethnic Population Projections

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Series Description

Title

Subnational Ethnic Population Projections

Alternate Title

Subnational Māori Population Projections Subnational Pacific Population Projections Subnational Asian Population Projections Subnational European Population Projections Subnational Maori Population Projections

Rights

Stats NZ

Abstract

Subnational Ethnic Population Projections provide projected 'European or Other (including New Zealander)', Māori, Asian, and Pacific ethnic populations of regional council, territorial authority, and Auckland local board areas in New Zealand, based on different combinations of fertility, mortality, migration, and inter-ethnic mobility assumptions.

Demographic projections provide an indication of future trends in the size and composition of the population, labour force, families and households. The projections are used for community, business and government planning and policy-making in areas such as health, education, superannuation and transport. The projections are typically updated every two to three years.

Purpose

Ethnic population projections are produced to assist local and ethnic communities, as well as central government, in planning and policy-making. The projections provide information on the changing characteristics and distribution of the population, which are used to develop social policies in areas such as health and education. For example, where different ethnic groups experience different health conditions, ethnic population projections can help identify likely future service needs.

The projections are neither predictions nor forecasts. They provide an indication of possible future changes in the size and composition of the ethnic populations. While the projection assumptions are formulated from an assessment of short-term and long-term demographic trends, there is no certainty that any of the assumptions will be realised. Each ethnic population consists of all people who identify with ethnicities within that ethnic group.

It is important to note that these ethnic populations are not mutually exclusive because people can and do identify with more than one ethnicity. People who identify with more than one ethnicity have been included in each ethnic population that they identify with.

Significant events impacting this study series

1953

First set of national Māori population projections produced. The base population was the estimated de facto population of Māori ethnicity of New Zealand at 31 March 1952.

1988

Local Government Amendment Act No 3 provides for the constitution of 14 regional councils. The regional council areas cover every territorial authority area in New Zealand with the exception of Chatham Islands Territory (formerly Chatham Islands County). These replaced 22 local government regions.

1989 (1 November)

Local government reorganisation creates 74 territorial authority areas. These replaced 213 local authorities.

1992 (1 July)

The number of regions increased from 14 to 16 following boundary reorganisation in the northern South Island.

1994

First set of regional Māori population projections produced. The base population was the census usually resident population count of Māori ethnicity of each area at 5 March 1991.

1995 (September)

New birth and death registration forms introduced carrying a revised question on ethnicity. Previously the ethnic questions asked for the degree of Māori or "Pacific Island" blood, if any. The new ethnic question instructs the respondent to "tick as many circles as needed to show which ethnic group(s)...". This resulted in a number of changes:

  • the ethnic concept is now self-identified ethnicity (previously Māori and Pacific respondents were classified by their 'degree of blood')
  • ethnic vital statistics are now available for a wider range of ethnic groups (previously information was only sought for Māori and Pacific groups)
  • ethnic data is now directly available for newborn babies and the deceased (in both cases this was previously derived from their parent's ethnicity)
  • multiple response to the ethnicity question is now possible (previously the degree of Māori or Pacific blood, but not both, could be identified)
  • non-response to the ethnicity question can now be quantified. See also Births and Deaths series in DataInfo+.

1996

Population concept for all demographic estimates, projections and indices changed from 'de facto' to 'resident'. Population estimates based on the de facto population concept (the estimated de facto population) include visitors from overseas, but made no adjustments for net census undercount or residents temporarily overseas. Population estimates based on the resident population concept (the estimated resident population) include adjustments for net census undercount and residents temporarily overseas, but exclude overseas visitors.

The reference date for projections is shifted from 31 March to 30 June.

1998

First set of national Asian population projections produced. The base population was the estimated resident population of Asian ethnic group of New Zealand at 30 June 1996.

2003

First set of national European population projections produced. The base population was the estimated resident population of European ethnic group of New Zealand at 30 June 2001.

2003

First set of subnational Pacific, Asian and European population projections produced. The base population was the estimated resident population of each ethnic group of each area at 30 June 2001.

2015

First set of territorial authority and Auckland local board areas 'European or Other', Māori, Asian, and Pacific population projections produced and published. The base population was the estimated resident population of each ethnic group of each area at 30 June 2013.

Usage and limitations of the data

Nature of Projections

These projections are not predictions. The projections should be used as an indication of the overall trend, rather than as exact forecasts. The projections are updated every 2–3 years to maintain their relevance and usefulness, by incorporating new information about demographic trends and developments in methods.

The projections are designed to meet both short-term and long-term planning needs, but are not designed to be exact forecasts or to project specific annual variation. These projections are based on assumptions made about future fertility (and paternity), mortality, migration, and inter-ethnic mobility patterns of the population. While the assumptions are formulated from an assessment of short-term and long-term demographic trends, there is no certainty that any of the assumptions will be realised.

The projections do not take into account non-demographic factors (eg war, catastrophes, major government and business decisions) which may invalidate the projections.

Population projections should not be confused with economic forecasts. Population change does not necessarily relate to the social and economic well-being of an area. The population may therefore change independent of local economic factors.

Projections of ethnic populations are more uncertain than projections of the total population for several reasons:

  • Ethnic identification can change over time. See the inter-ethnic mobility section for further explanation.

  • There are greater difficulties in establishing past trends in fertility, mortality, and migration. People may report different ethnicities in different collections (eg birth registration form, death registration form, census form), which makes deriving ethnic-specific fertility and mortality rates problematic. Also, the measurement of ethnicity has changed over time in many collections, while it is not captured at all in some collections (eg international travel and migration data).

  • Ethnic populations are not mutually exclusive because people can and do identify with more than one ethnicity. People are not asked to prioritise their ethnic responses, so Statistics NZ includes people in each of their reported ethnic groups.

  • Births to parents of different ethnicities add complexity. The parents may consider the child to belong to one or more of their ethnicities, or indeed to another ethnicity.

  • There is greater future uncertainty about the components of population change. For example, it is uncertain whether the fertility and mortality of different ethnicities will converge, and if so, at what pace. Assumptions about future migration, notably for people of Asian and Pacific ethnicities, are particularly susceptible to changes in migration patterns.

Stats NZ incorporates these factors into its methodology for ethnic population projections and has developed stochastic population projections at the national level to illustrate uncertainty. However, it is because of these factors that ethnic population projections are currently limited to the four broad ethnic groups and the 25-year projection period.

Main users of the data

Stats NZ, Ministry of Health, Government Planners/Local Body Planners, Ministry of Education, Consultants, Private Businesses

Frequency

11 Other

Studies

Coverage

Subjects
Ethnic, Subnational, Population, Māori
Keywords
Maori , Pacific, Asian, European, European or Other, New Zealander, European or Other (including New Zealander), Māori

Extra Metadata