Facts, stats and figures

Commonly requested facts, statistics and figures about Christchurch City.

 

History

  • Archaeological evidence suggests Christchurch was first settled by moa hunting tribes as early as AD 1000.
  • The Maori name for Christchurch is Ōtautahi. The name is derived from a Ngai Tahu chief, Tautahi, who along with his people, had settlements on the riverbanks of the Ōtākaro-Avon River.
  • Planning of the Christchurch settlement began in England in the late 1840s, named after the college at Oxford University that key founder John Godley attended. It was planned as a model Anglican church settlement, intending to replicate a typical English community. It was established as a colony in 1850.
  • Christchurch became New Zealand’s first city by Royal Charter in 1856.

Population

  • Christchurch City's most recent population estimate was 392,000 (June 2021).
  • The 2010/2011 earthquakes resulted in a net loss of around 21,000 people, but by 2017 the city's population had recovered to pre-earthquake levels.
  • Projections suggest that by 2028 the population is likely to be around 417,000 under a medium growth scenario. However it could range anywhere between 398,000 and 437,000.
  • By 2048, the city's population is expected to be around 464,000 (but could range anywhere between 400,000 and 530,000).

Population estimates and projections for Christchurch City, (2018-base)


Surrounding districts

  • Neighbouring Selwyn and Waimakariri districts had an estimated combined population of 140,000 in 2021.
  • Growth is currently tracking faster than what was projected under a high growth scenario.
  • Longer term, under a medium growth scenario, the population is expected to be around 151,000 by 2028 and around 190,000 by 2048.

Population estimates and projections for Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts, (2018-base)

Life-cycle age groups

  • The city's estimated median age was 36.9 years in 2018.
  • The number of older people aged 65 years and over is expected to increase by 70 per cent between 2018 and 2048 (from 56,600 to 96,100).
    • As a proportion of the city's population, this age group will increase from 15 per cent to 21 per cent between 2018 and 2048.
  • The number of people aged under 15 years is expected to slightly decrease between 2018 and 2048, falling from 65,100 to 61,000.
    • As a proportion of the city's population, this age group will decrease from 17 per cent to 13 per cent.

Age group estimates and projections, (2018-base)

Ethnic groups

  • In 2018, 12 per cent of they city's population indicated they had Māori descent (42,500 people).
  • Of these, 29 per cent identified as belonging to Ngāi Tahu (12,400 people).
  • The most common ethnicities in the city that people identified as were European (78 per cent), Asian (15 per cent), Māori (10 per cent), Pacific Peoples (3.8 per cent), and Middle Eastern/Latin American/African (1.5 per cent).

Ethnicity, 2018

Note: Includes all people who stated each ethnic group, whether as their only ethnic group or as one of several. Where a person reported more than one ethnic group, they have been counted in each applicable group. As a result percentages do not add up to 100. The vast majority of people counted in 'Other Ethnicity' recorded ''New Zealander'' on their census form.

Birthplace

  • In 2018, 27 per cent of the city's residents were born overseas.
  • Of the residents who were born overseas, almost half came from four countries: 17 per cent were born in England, 10 per cent in the Philippines, 10 per cent in China and 7 per cent were born in India.

Birth region, 2018


Religion

  • 43 per cent of residents affiliated with at least one religion.
  • The most common religions were Christian (36 per cent), Hinduism (1.8 per cent) and Islam (1.1 per cent).

Business and employment

  •  In 2021, around 43,300 businesses employed 215,200 people.
  • The largest industry by number of businesses is Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, which makes up 22 per cent of all Christchurch businesses.
  • The top five industries by number of employees were:   
    1. Health Care and Social Assistance (29,300 employees)
    2. Manufacturing (22,000 employees)
    3. Retail Trade (22,000 employees)
    4. Construction (20,700 employees)
    5. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (19,700 employees)

Employment by sector, 2021


Gross domestic product (GDP)

  • The city had a GDP of $28 billion in the year to March 2020. This was an increase of $1.2 billion (4.4 per cent) from March 2019. 
  • One third of  the city's GDP was generated by three industries in 2019: Manufacturing (12 per cent); Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (11 per cent); and Construction (11 per cent).

Gross Domestic Product contribution by industry, 2019


Spending

  • There was a total spending of $6 billion in Christchurch City for 2021 (excludes cash transactions).
    • 73 per cent of this spending was made by Christchurch residents.
    • 13 per cent was made by Selwyn District and Waimakariri District residents.
    • 2 per cent was made by international card holders. 

Electronic card spending in Christchurch City

Zoned land

  • Christchurch City has 147,000 hectares of zoned land area (70% is located in Banks Peninsula).
    • 67 per cent is rural.
    • 8 per cent is residential.
    • 0.4 per cent is commercial.

Zoned land, at June 2022

Deprivation

  • In 2019, the city's median equivalised household income was $62,300.
    • The bottom 20% of households had a median income of $32,300.
    • The top 20% of households had a median income of $105,700.
  • In 2018, 23 per cent of our residents lived in areas with the lowest socio-economic deprivation scores (deciles 1 and 2) and 14 per cent lived in areas with the highest deprivation scores (deciles 9 and 10).
  • In general, areas on or near the Port Hills had the lowest levels of socio-economic deprivation. Pockets of low levels deprivation were also found in the inner north-west suburbs, and in some of the newer developments on the outskirts of the city.
  • In general, eastern areas of the city had the highest levels of socio-economic deprivation. Other pockets were distributed throughout the city.

Deprivation Index, 2018

The 2018 deprivation index(external link)(external link) was developed by researchers at the University of Otago, and combines nine variables from the 2018 census which reflect dimensions of socio-economic deprivation. NZDep2018 provides a deprivation score for each meshblock in New Zealand (a meshblock is generally the size of a street block in urban areas, containing approximately 30-60 dwellings). Deprivation scores apply to areas rather than individual people.

Households

  • In 2018, there were an estimated 148,000 households in Christchurch city. Projections suggest that this will likely increase to around 161,000 households by 2028 (medium series), and 172,000 households by 2038.

Housing development

  • Building consents were issued for 4,100 new dwellings and units for the year ending June 2022.
    • Of these, 3,600 were for additional dwellings and units to the city's housing stock (net new housing).
    • The remaining 500 were replacing dwellings which had been demolished.
  • The increase in net new dwellings from the previous year was around 850 (31 per cent).

Net new housing, 2022

New housing refers to additional housing added to the city's current housing stock. It excludes replacement housing (i.e. when a dwelling is demolished and replaced with a single dwelling).

Housing costs

  • The median house sale price for Christchurch City was around $670,000 for the fourth quarter of 2021. This is an increase of 28 per cent since the same period in 2020, and 40 per cent since the same period in 2019.
  • The median rent price in Christchurch was $473 for the fourth quarter of 2021. This was an increase of 12 per cent since the same period in 2020, and 15 per cent since the same period in 2019.

Median house sale price in Christchurch City

Number of motor vehicles

  • In 2018, 7 percent of Christchurch households did not have a motor vehicle.
  • 74 percent of Christchurch households had one or two motor vehicles.

Travel to work

  • In 2018, the most common modes of transport to work were: by private car, truck or van (62 percent); company car, truck or van (11 percent); and bicycle (6 percent). Around 9 percent of Christchurch residents usually worked from home. 

Travel to work (usual means), 2018

  • In 2018, 12,000 Selwyn District residents and 9,000 Waimakariri District residents usually travelled to Christchurch City for work.

Travel to Christchurch for work, 2018

Information about how we're going at delivering our goals of a prosperous, vibrant, liveable central Christchurch can be found hereTopics include population, business and employment, spending data, visitor activity and perceptions around the central city.

Further information

  • Comprehensive information for Christchurch City and its suburbs are available on Statistics New Zealand’s 2018 Census Place Summaries(external link) page. Topics include population, ethnicity, religion, health, employment, income, education, and housing.
  • Information about census variables used in these profiles, including definitions and data quality ratings, can be found here(external link).

Terms of use:

  • Christchurch City refers to the area governed by the Christchurch City Council.
  • These pages complement the information found within the Council's Community Outcomes programme, which measures progress towards achieving the strategic directions of the organisation.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in processing, analysing and reporting the information provided in these web pages and reports. However, the Christchurch City Council gives no warranty that the information in these web pages and reports contain no errors.
  • The Council shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered consequent upon the use directly, or indirectly, of the information supplied in this publication.