November 21, 2023

The dynamic demographic shift

Insights into the growing population in 2023

The demographic profile of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Māori population is marked by a youthful composition and higher birth rates, contrasting the national population surge driven by migration.

The demographic profile of the estimated Māori population in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2023 has retained a younger age composition compared to the national average. Recent statistics released by Statistics New Zealand showed the estimated Māori population had grown to 904,100 people in June 2023, consisting of 450,200 Māori males and 453,900 Māori females.

In the year to June 2023, the Māori population grew by 13,100 people, marking a growth rate of 1.5 percent

The overall estimated population of Aotearoa New Zealand grew to a provisional estimate of 5,269,200 residents as of September 2023, a growth rate of 138,100 people in the past year. Among the national population, there were 2,647,700 females and 2,621,500 males. The surge in the estimated national population primarily resulted from a natural increase of 19,300 people (births minus deaths) and a substantial net migration of 118,800 people. 
This is a considerable increase from the April 2023 net migration statistic (72,330 people). Depending on immigration for population planning can put pressure on infrastructure, have a negative impact on productivity and innovation, and may create a “reliance risk” on migrant labour.

The growth in the Māori population, though substantial, was lower than the overall national population increase of 2.7 percent during the same period

However, while the rise in the Māori population can be attributed to births exceeding deaths and inter-ethnic mobility (an increase in people identifying with Māori ethnicity), the rise in the national population was largely a result of net migration.

The median ages for Māori males and females were 25.8 and 27.9 years, respectively. This indicates a younger demographic compared to the national median ages of 37.0 and 39.0 years for males and females, respectively. The age structure of the Māori population is a key factor contributing to its overall growth, with the Māori demographic profile reflecting a younger age distribution compared to the national average. The youthfulness of the Māori population has implications for various sectors, including education, healthcare, and workforce planning.

Source: Statistics New Zealand

In the broader context of New Zealand's ethnic composition, the Māori population constitutes a significant portion, comprising 17.3 percent of the estimated national population. The statistics not only underscore the steady growth of both the national and Māori populations, but also highlight the demographic composition. The Māori community represents a significant segment with a notably younger population profile and higher birth rates.

The 2023 statistics reflect an increase from previous estimates, showcasing the resilience and expansion of the Māori community. The growth and profile of the Māori population also mark an ongoing demographic shift. This growth is of particular importance in the context of New Zealand's broader demographic landscape, contributing to the country's increasing ethnic diversity. As Aotearoa New Zealand is set to become more ethnically diverse in the coming years, the upward trajectory of the Māori population plays a significant role in shaping the nation's demographic makeup and exerting a profound impact on workforce dynamics.