2018 Census of Population and Dwellings



2018 Census of Population and Dwellings


The New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings is the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in New Zealand. It provides a snapshot of our society at a point in time and helps to tell the story of its social and economic change. The 2018 Census, held on Tuesday 6 March, was the 34th New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings. The first official census was run in 1851, and since 1877 there has been a census every five years, with only four exceptions.


Census information is used by government agencies, local authorities, businesses, community organisations, and the public for developing and implementing new policies, research, planning, and decision-making. It helps us make decisions about how to best use public funding, especially in areas of health, education, housing, and transport.

The census is also the primary source of information used for deciding the number of general and Māori electorates, along with data from the corresponding Māori Electoral Option.

The census in New Zealand is undertaken under the authority of section 23(1) of the Statistics Act 1975.  The act outlines statutory topics, and other topics that can be included in the census at the discretion of the Government Statistician.

The census aims to count everyone in New Zealand on census night. This includes:

  • people on New Zealand soil
  • people on a vessel in New Zealand waters
  • people on a passage between New Zealand ports
  • overseas residents in New Zealand
  • overseas visitors in New Zealand
  • people in diplomatic residences including housekeeping staff, uniformed military personnel, and members of diplomats' families
  • overseas military personnel and their families located in New Zealand on census night (including people on our territorial waters).

New Zealand residents who are not in the country on census night are not included in the census.

Geographically the census includes the North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands, plus largely uninhabited islands including the Kermadec Islands, Three Kings Islands, Mayor Island, Motiti Island, White Island, Moutohora Island, Bounty Islands, Snares Islands, Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, and Campbell Island.


6 Five-yearly



Census 2018, Variable Classification Catalogue

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201 30/11/2021 2:59:10 PM