Population

Overview of the people who live in Christchurch, now and in the future.

Current population

  • Christchurch City's population is growing, reaching an estimated 385,500 in June 2019.
  • This is an increase of 5300 residents since 2018 (1.4% increase). The national increase in population was 1.6%.
  • Our neighbours Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts had a combined population of 128,400 in 2019.
  • This is a combined population increase of 4800 residents since 2018 (3.9%).

 

Future population

  • The city's population is projected to reach 424,000 by 2028 (medium projection).
  • By 2043, medium projections suggest this figure will be around 459,000. However, the possible range of population could be anywhere between 392,000 to 527,000.
  • Christchurch City’s population is projected to grow by an average of 0.8% a year between 2013 and 2043, under the medium series.
  • From 2013 to 2043, migration is the key contributor to population change, adding a further 59,000 people to the City's population. Natural increase is expected to add around 43,000 people.
  • The majority of household growth will take place in priority greenfield areas. In Christchurch, this is mainly in the northern and southwest areas.
  • Between 2013 and 2043, Selwyn District has the highest projected population growth rate in the whole country (an average annual increase of 2.6% over the 30-year period) and the population is expected to more than double from 46,700 to 99,500.
  • Waimakariri District is projected to grow by around 60% between 2013 and 2043, from 52,300 residents to 83,100. This is an average annual growth rate of 1.6%, which is the third highest in the country over this period.

 

Explore more data

Interactive data and visualisations are available on Statistics New Zealand's website:

1. View and download customisable population tables from Statistics New Zealand's NZ.Stat tool(external link):

  • Available for population estimates, census counts, and population projections.
  • Can be selected for a range of geographies (including suburb level) and years by age and sex.

 2. View Statistics New Zealand's 2018 Census map gallery(external link) for maps showing population change between the 2013 and 2018 censuses:

  • Can be selected for a range of geographies (including suburb level) by age and sex.

 3. View Statistics New Zealand's map showing projected population change(external link) between 2013 and 2043:

  • Available for area units (approximately suburb level).

Information about this data

Statistics New Zealand is responsible for producing official population counts, estimates and projections:

1. Census usually resident population count(external link) aims to count everyone in New Zealand on census night (and determine where in New Zealand they usually reside), but it excludes residents temporarily overseas on census night.

2. Population estimates(external link) at 30 June are produced annually and are based on the 5-yearly census usually resident population count. The estimated population includes residents not counted on census day (e.g. temporarily overseas), and is updated annually to include births, deaths and net migration.

3. Population projections(external link) use population estimates as a starting point, and are based on different combinations of fertility, mortality, and migration assumptions (low, medium, and high).

Further information outlining the difference between the three population measures are available here(external link).

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