By 2043 there will be around 43,000 additional households in the city, bringing the total to 181,000.

Projected household numbers are available out to 2038, based on 2013 estimates.

Understanding future household trends and patterns is important for changing requirements for housing, service and infrastructure provision.

Topic Status Key findings
Projected Households Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

Between 2013 and 2038, the number of households in the city is projected to increase from 138,000 to 181,000 (under the medium projection series).

This is an increase of almost 43,000 households. Further information.

Annual average rate of growth Increasing trendIncreasingTrend Average annual growth in the city is projected to be 0.9%, which is lower than the national average of 1.2%. Further information.
Projected Household Size Decreasing trend
Households are projected to get smaller both in Christchurch and elsewhere in New Zealand. Further information.
Surrounding Districts Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

Over the next 25 years Selwyn and Waimakariri districts will have a combined increase of 29,200 households.

Selwyn and Waimakariri have higher annual growth rates of 2.7% and 1.8% respectively between 2013 and 2038.  Further information.

Location of Households InformationInformation

The majority of household growth will take place in priority greenfield areas. In Christchurch this is mainly in the northern and southwest areas.

In Selwyn and Waimakariri, the greenfield areas are close to the existing main townships. Further information.

Household counts

By 2023, Statistics New Zealand's medium projection series expects there will be an additional 43,000 households in Christchurch, bring the total number to 161,000 households. By 2038, there will be a further 20,000 households added, bringing the total number of households to around 181,000 by 2038.

There is uncertainty around these projections and by 2038 the number of households could range from 158,600 to 204,400, depending on differing assumptions(external link) about fertility, mortality, migration and living arrangement types. 

At 2013, Selwyn and Waimakariri had a combined 35,500 households, and is likely to have around 65,000 households by 2038 (medium series)- an increase of 82%.

Growth rates

Between 2013 and 2038, more than half of the City's household growth will occur in the 10 years to 2023- with an increase of 22,500 households. The remaining 20,000 extra households will occur in the 15 years ending 2038.

Christchurch City is expected to have an average annual growth rate of 0.9%, compared with 1.2% New Zealand wide.

The surrounding districts(external link) of Selwyn and Waimakariri are expected to have the highest and third highest growth in households in New Zealand, with annual average growth rates of 2.7% and 1.8% respectively. 

Waimakariri is expected to grow by 11,700 households over the next 25 year to 31,300. Selwyn is expected to grow by 17,500 over the same period to 33,400.

For the surrounding districts, just over 60% of 35-year period's growth will occur in the first 10 years.

Household size

Although there will be 42,600 more households by 2038, there will be fewer people living in each household.

In 2013, the average household size(external link) in Christchurch was 2.5 people. After 2023 this will decrease to 2.4 people and will remain so until 2038.

In 2013, the surrounding districts of Waimakariri and Selwyn both had higher average household sizes than Christchurch, at 2.6 and 2.8 people respectively. By 2023 Waimakariri will have the same average household size as Christchurch (2.5 people per household) and will continue to follow the same trend as Christchurch until 2038.

The average household size in Selwyn is higher throughout the projections time series, reflecting the higher proportion of families with children in the district. The average household size will remain at 2.8 until 2023, then will decrease to 2.7 from 2028-2033, before decreasing to 2.6 by 2038.

Location of households

Following the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, the Land Use Recovery Plan(external link) identified priority greenfield areas for housing growth through to 2028. 

In Christchurch City, greenfield land for housing and business is mainly located in the northern parts of the City around Belfast and Marshland, and south-west of the City around Halswell and Wigram.

Greenfield growth in Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts is focused primarily around the townships of Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Woodend, Pegasus, Rolleston and Lincoln.

Map showing residential and business greenfield areas(external link) (pg 22).


Further information

Please email for further information.

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