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New Zealand's population will hit 5 million this year

News 10/01/2019

New Zealand's population is forecast to reach five million this year.

At the moment, our population is swiftly closing in on 4,934,000.

counter on the Stats NZ website shows the population has been steadily climbing since the early 1990s, and this isn't changing anytime soon.

Senior demographer Kim Dunstan spoke to RNZ saying that, given the current trends, our population could hit the five million mark by the end of this year.

New Zealand's population increases by one person every five minutes and 26 seconds, based on births, deaths and net migration.

The population clock from Stats NZ says that New Zealanders have one birth every eight minutes and 38 seconds, a death every 16 minutes and 46 seconds, and a net migration gain of one every seven minutes and 49 seconds.

Mr Dunstan told RNZ the population hit the four million milestone in 2003 but, in the last few years, the population has ballooned particularly quickly.

"There are these year-to-year fluctuations in the components of population growth, so in the last year, our population grew at 1.9 percent, but it was only as far back as 2012 that the population grew at 0.5 percent over the year."

He says in 2016 and 2017, it was growing at 2.1 percent.

According to Mr Dunstan, if we factor in overseas visitors, then the five million mark has most likely already been hit.

"In the summer months, this is when we have relatively high numbers of visitors from overseas and probably relatively few New Zealanders overseas, hence the number of people physically in New Zealand tends to peak in those summer months," he told RNZ.