Languages, religion, and country of birth can all contribute to a sense of cultural identity.

Differences in language, religion and birthplace contribute to the cultural diversity of the City, and are important aspects of self identity. 

Topic Status Key findings
te reo Māori Decreasing trend
DecreasingTrend

The number and proportion of te reo speakers in Christchurch City has been declining since 2001.

In 2013, the proportion of te reo speakers in Christchurch (1.8%) was below the national average (3.7%).
Further information.

Language(s) spoken Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

The vast majority of Christchurch residents could speak English in 2013 (97%), slightly higher than in 2006.

The next common languages were te reo Māori (1.8%), French (1.4%), and Northern Chinese (1.2%). Further information.

Multiple languages spoken Increasing trendIncreasingTrend Around 14% of residents spoke two or more languages in 2013, higher than in 2006.  Further information.
Overseas born residents Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

Between 1996 and 2013, Christchurch residents born overseas increased from 16 to 22% of the City's population.

Residents born in the Asia region accounted for 7.2% of the City's population.

England was the top source country of overseas born residents. Further information.

Religion Decreasing trend
DecreasingTrend
The proportion of residents who affiliate with a religious group has decreased from 63% in 2001 to 52% in 2013.  Further information.

Te Reo Māori

The number and proportion of te reo speakers in Christchurch City has been declining since 2001, when 2.1% of the City's population could have a conversation about a lot of everyday things in te reo. In 2013, 1.8% of the City's population (5,900) could speak te reo. This compares with 3.7% nationally.

Around 72% of the City's te reo speakers identified with the Maori ethnic group.

Most common languages

The most commonly spoken language in Christchurch City was English (3% were unable to have a conversation about everyday things in English in 2013, which includes residents too young to talk).

Of New Zealand's two other official languages, 1.8% of the City's population could speak te reo Māori (lower than the national figure of 3.7%) while 0.6% of the City's population could have a conversation about a lot of everyday things in NZ Sign Language (compared with 0.5% of New Zealanders).

Other commonly spoken languages in Christchurch City include French, Chinese languages (Northern, other Sinitic, and Yue) and Samoan.

Number of languages spoken

The proportion of residents able to have a conversation about a lot of everyday things in more than one language has been increasing since 2001, when 12% of residents could do so. By 2013 this proportion had increased to 14%, most likely reflecting the increase in migrants from countries where English is not the primary language.

Overseas born residents: region and country of birth

The proportion of residents who were born overseas has been increasing over time. In 1996, 16% of the City's population were born overseas and by 2013 this had increased to 22%.

Just over 7% of the city's population in 2013 were born in the Asia region. China, the Philippines, India and Korea were the top source countries from Asia. A further 7% of the City's population were born in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

In terms of birth country, the top birth country for Christchurch residents born overseas was England (17,550 in 2013), followed by China (6,450) and Australia (5,550).

Of the migrants living in Christchurch who have been in New Zealand for 20 years or more, more than half were born in the United Kingdom or Ireland. Around 14% of these migrants were born in Asia.

In the last 20 years, residents born in Asian countries have made up the greatest proportion of migrants, followed by those born in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

Religion

Around 52% of the City's population have at least one religious affiliation, down from 63% in 2006. Conversely, the proportion who answered 'no religion' increased from 32% to 45% between 2001 and 2013. 

Around 48% of the City's population were affiliated with Christian religions in 2013, in particular Anglican (14% of the City's population), Catholic (13%) and Presbyterian (7.8%).

Other religions that residents affiliate with include Buddhist (1.3%), Hindu (1%), Islam/Muslim (0.8%), Spiritualism and New Age religions (0.5%), Māori Christian religions (0.4%), Sikh (0.2%), and Judaism/Jewish (0.1%). 

 

Further information

Please email monitor@ccc.govt.nz for further information.

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