Overview of households and families, household sizes, and location of households.

The number of households is closely linked to the overall growth of Christchurch's population and changing demographics. As the population continues to age and the average number of people per household continues to decrease, the type of housing required is changing. The growth of the number of households in Christchurch impacts on the location and type of new residential development. It also has impacts on rates and the provision of infrastructure, services and facilities.

Number of Households in Christchurch

Between 2013 and 2038, the number of households in the city is projected to increase from 138,300 to 173,600 (under the medium projection series).

This is a total increase of just over 35,000 households. Growth is projected to be around 10,000 households between 2013 and 2018, an average of 2000 households per year.  This decreases to around 7000 additional households for each five year period between 2018 and 2028 (an average of 1400 households per year). After 2028, this further decreases to 5100 for each five year period to 2038 (average annual household growth of 1020). For the 25 year period to 2038, the annual average growth rate for Christchurch is expected to be 0.9%, which is slightly less than the annual average growth rate for New Zealand of 1.1%.

The number of households could be as high as 196,800 or as low as 151,300 by 2038, depending on differing assumptions about fertility, mortality, migration and living arrangement types. 

chart of household scenarios

Estimated and Projected Households, 1996-2038

Waimakariri and Selwyn districts

The surrounding districts 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 10,900 households over the next 25 year to 30,500. Selwyn is expected to grow by 14,800 over the same period to 30,600. The combined growth of these two districts (26,600) is equivalent to 73% of the household growth in Christchurch City and makes up 42% of the overall growth in the three districts that make up Greater Christchurch.

Household and Family Types

Between 2013 and 2038, there will be 32,000 additional one-person or couple-only households in the city.

This takes the total number of one-person or couple-only households from 78,000 to 110,000. These two household types will account for 84% of the city's projected household growth. As a proportion of all households, one-person or couple-only households made up 56% of all household types in 2013, and by 2038 will make up almost two thirds (64%).

Two parent families will contribute towards 11% of household growth and one-parent families will contribute 5%. By 2038 there will be 6,200 additional households containing families with children, taking the total to 61,800. The number of multi-person households (such as flatting situations) is expected to decline from 8,000 to 7,700.

Chart of projected household and family types

Projected household and family types, 2013-2038

Greater Christchurch

In Selwyn and Waimakariri districts, one-person households and couple-only households will account for 70% and 83% of the growth in each district respectively. Selwyn district has much higher proportions of growth in two-parent families, comprising 24% of total district household growth, compared with 11% each for both Waimakariri and Christchurch.

Number of People per Household

Although there will be 35,300 more households by 2038, there will be fewer people living in each household.

In 2013, the average household size 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) 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.

chart of household size, 2013-2038

Projected Household Size, 2013-2038

Location of Households

There will be significant growth in the number of households in the south-west, the north-east and the northern parts of the city.

In 2013, the area units with the highest number of households per hectare were located just outside of the central city. They were the St Albans West, St Albans East, Edgeware, and Linwood area units.

The Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP) includes a map identifying areas required to provide sufficient land zoned for residential and business purposes through to 2028. Within Christchurch City, the greenfield areas identified for future households are located in Halswell and Wigram, Prestons and Marshlands, and Belfast.

Waimakariri and Selwyn districts

In 2013, Rolleston Central area unit in Selwyn, and Kaiapoi West and Rangiora West area units in Waimakariri had the highest number of households per hectare in their respective districts.

In Waimakariri district, the residential greenfield areas identified for future growth are located on the outskirts of Kaiapoi, Woodend and Rangiora. In Selwyn district, residential greenfield areas are located on the outer edges of Rolleston and Lincoln.

Information about data used

Type of Household:

Family, one-person and other multi-person (e.g. flat sharing situation) are the three types of household categories used in the subnational projections. 

Statistics New Zealand released subnational household and family projections based on the 2013 census on 8 December 2015.  These are the first household and family projections that have been released for the Christchurch area since the earthquakes so take into account the impact of the earthquake as well as information from the 2013 census.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Subnational Family and Household Projections: 2013(base)-2038

Location of Households:

The location of future households is largely contingent on the availability and supply of suitable land (including appropriately zoned land), as well as population growth.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, StatsMaps and 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings; CERA, Land Use Recovery Plan

Type of Family:

Couple-without-children, two-parent and one-parent are the three types of family categories used in the projections.

Statistics New Zealand released subnational household and family projections based on the 2013 census on 8 December 2015.  These are the first household and family projections that have been released for the Christchurch area since the earthquakes so take into account the impact of the earthquake as well as information from the 2013 census.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Subnational Family and Household Projections: 2013(base)-2038

Families with Children:

This is a measure from the census which refers to families with children who were all living together in the same household.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings