Ethnic composition

The youth population is more ethnically diverse than the total population. 

In the 2006 Census, 19.5 percent of young people aged 12 to 24 identified as Mäori, 9.3 percent as Pacific, 13.1 percent Asian and 1.2 percent as Other ethnicities.  These figures are all significantly higher than the proportion of the total population that identifies with each of these ethnic groups.

Ethnic composition of the population aged 12 to 24, 2006

Ethnic composition of the population aged 12 to 24, 2006

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census.  The category European includes ‘New Zealander’ responses, in accordance with Statistics New Zealand practice for previous Censuses. 

Young people are less likely to identify as European than previous generations.  In 1986, 82.4 percent of young people identified as European compared with 70.4 percent in 2006.  Young people are also more likely than older age groups to identify with more than one ethnicity – and the proportion of young people to do so is growing. 

In order to achieve good outcomes for young people now and in the future, it is critical to ensure that policies and services are well-placed to serve the increasingly diverse youth population. 

Ethnic identification of the population aged 12 to 24, 1986-2006
  1986 1996 2006
Ethnic group Number % Number % Number %
European 623,955 82.4 517,920 78.5 509,721 70.4
Maori 126,267 16.7 132,696 20.1 141,249 19.5
Pacific Peoples 36,438 4.8 50,874 7.7 67,281 9.3
Asian 14,454 1.9 46,701 7.1 94,767 13.1
Other 810 0.1 3,624 0.5 8,889 1.2

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census.  The category European includes ‘New Zealander’ responses, in accordance with Statistics New Zealand practice for previous Censuses.  Percentages add up to more than 100 percent as some people identify more than one ethnicity.

Regional variation

The ethnic composition of the youth population varies significantly across different parts of New Zealand. See Regional facts & stats for more details.

Waimate District is the territorial authority with the highest proportion of young people identifying as ‘European’ (97.4 percent).  In contrast, 79.1 percent of all young people aged 12 to 24 identify as Mäori in Kawerau District.

More than a third of young people in Porirua City (34.9 percent) and Manukau City (33.2 percent) identify with Pacific ethnic group. 

North Shore City has the highest proportion of young people (26.1 percent) that identify with an Asian ethnic group.

Number and proportion of young peopleaged 12 to 24 identifying with each ethnic group, by territorial authority, 2006: European, Maori, and Pacific Peoples
Territorial Authority (TA) European Maori Pacific Peoples
Number in TA % of TA
population
Number in TA % of TA
population
Number in TA % of TA
population
Far North District 4911 59.2 4950 59.6 414 5.0
Whangarei District 9189 76.4 4431 36.8 432 3.6
Kaipara District 2166 81.6 870 32.8 93 3.5
Rodney District 12060 90.6 1791 13.5 435 3.3
North Shore City 26940 67.8 3348 8.4 1638 4.1
Waitakere City 20031 59.9 5784 17.3 6606 19.8
Auckland City 38535 49.7 7467 9.6 12414 16.0
Manukau City 24942 37.9 11937 18.2 21855 33.2
Papakura District 5328 62.5 2952 34.6 1158 13.6
Franklin District 7458 80.7 1926 20.9 489 5.3
Thames-Coromandel District 2736 85.2 903 28.1 69 2.1
Hauraki District 24951 89.9 4833 17.4 414 1.5
Waikato District 5460 73.1 2616 35.0 222 3.0
Matamata-Piako District 4386 85.9 966 18.9 87 1.7
Hamilton City 19584 68.4 6870 24.0 1473 5.1
Waipa District 6078 87.9 1350 19.5 126 1.8
Otorohanga District 1212 74.3 591 36.2 48 2.9
South Waikato District 2541 65.8 1590 41.2 648 16.8
Waitomo District 1005 62.7 837 52.2 66 4.1
Taupo District 3681 72.0 2097 41.0 225 4.4
Western Bay of Plenty District 4986 81.5 1581 25.8 162 2.6
Tauranga City 13368 81.3 4068 24.7 456 2.8
Rotorua District 7281 63.7 5457 47.8 744 6.5
Whakatane District 3372 60.0 3075 54.8 180 3.2
Kawerau District 504 41.4 963 79.1 57 4.7
Opotiki District 669 46.9 1038 72.8 57 4.0
Gisborne District 4269 55.7 4563 59.5 297 3.9
Wairoa District 555 41.8 969 72.9 36 2.7
Hastings District 8562 71.5 4002 33.4 846 7.1
Napier City 7254 79.8 2415 26.6 348 3.8
Central Hawke's Bay District 1698 79.4 711 33.2 81 3.8
New Plymouth District 9786 85.2 2385 20.8 246 2.1
Stratford District 1443 90.9 249 15.7 12 0.8
South Taranaki District 3588 81.5 1365 31.0 93 2.1
Ruapehu District 1587 67.4 1167 49.6 87 3.7
Wanganui District 5547 78.2 2214 31.2 249 3.5
Rangitikei District 1893 77.2 873 35.6 78 3.2
Manawatu District 4398 88.0 1110 22.2 135 2.7
Palmerston North City 13698 78.8 3240 18.6 825 4.7
Tararua District 2367 82.8 819 28.6 69 2.4
Horowhenua District 3468 79.5 1404 32.2 234 5.4
Kapiti Coast District 5349 87.1 1392 22.7 231 3.8
Porirua City 5148 57.1 2487 27.6 3147 34.9
Upper Hutt City 5598 83.0 1305 19.4 426 6.3
Lower Hutt City 12075 68.7 4044 23.0 2421 13.8
Wellington City 27771 76.1 3504 9.6 2175 6.0
Masterton District 3210 85.1 963 25.5 144 3.8
Carterton District 930 91.4 138 13.6 27 2.7
South Wairarapa District 936 88.1 243 22.9 27 2.5
Tasman District 6144 93.8 783 12.0 78 1.2
Nelson City 6384 89.4 975 13.7 189 2.6
Marlborough District 5553 89.8 999 16.1 171 2.8
Kaikoura District 435 82.9 135 25.7 6 1.1
Buller District 1290 93.3 213 15.4 15 1.1
Grey District 2001 93.8 291 13.6 36 1.7
Westland District 1122 91.7 231 18.9 24 2.0
Hurunui District 1356 96.2 135 9.6 6 0.4
Waimakariri District 5832 94.5 678 11.0 63 1.0
Christchurch City 52407 80.3 6717 10.3 2514 3.9
Selwyn District 5382 91.1 564 9.5 87 1.5
Ashburton District 3873 92.3 438 10.4 93 2.2
Timaru District 6123 93.4 690 10.5 99 1.5
Mackenzie District 540 91.4 42 7.1 12 2.0
Waimate District 6858 97.4 372 5.3 42 0.6
Chatham Islands Territory c   c   c  
Waitaki District 2475 93.0 222 8.3 60 2.3
Central Otago District 2157 92.3 309 13.2 36 1.5
Queenstown-Lakes District 2967 89.6 315 9.5 36 1.1
Dunedin City 24732 84.6 2451 8.4 840 2.9
Clutha District 2328 91.4 384 15.1 33 1.3
Southland District 4218 93.6 642 14.2 42 0.9
Gore District 1749 90.4 297 15.3 24 1.2
Invercargill City 7875 88.4 1749 19.6 324 3.6
Number and proportion of young people aged 12 to 24 identifying with each ethnic group, by territorial authority, 2006: Asian and (aggregated) other ethnic groups
Territorial Authority (TA) Asian Other
Number in TA % of TA
population
Number in TA % of TA
population
Far North District 138 1.7 36 0.4
Whangarei District 357 3.0 33 0.3
Kaipara District 27 1.0 6 0.2
Rodney District 603 4.5 51 0.4
North Shore City 10374 26.1 879 2.2
Waitakere City 6264 18.7 657 2.0
Auckland City 26265 33.9 1677 2.2
Manukau City 15813 24.1 1179 1.8
Papakura District 819 9.6 135 1.6
Franklin District 588 6.4 30 0.3
Thames-Coromandel District 72 2.2 18 0.6
Hauraki District 450 1.6 87 0.3
Waikato District 237 3.2 24 0.3
Matamata-Piako District 174 3.4 6 0.1
Hamilton City 4305 15.0 537 1.9
Waipa District 171 2.5 6 0.1
Otorohanga District 42 2.6 9 0.6
South Waikato District 75 1.9 9 0.2
Waitomo District 21 1.3 0 0.0
Taupo District 108 2.1 15 0.3
Western Bay of Plenty District 198 3.2 6 0.1
Tauranga City 759 4.6 102 0.6
Rotorua District 591 5.2 57 0.5
Whakatane District 81 1.4 15 0.3
Kawerau District 24 2.0 0 0.0
Opotiki District 12 0.8 3 0.2
Gisborne District 111 1.4 12 0.2
Wairoa District 21 1.6 3 0.2
Hastings District 348 2.9 87 0.7
Napier City 306 3.4 48 0.5
Central Hawke's Bay District 24 1.1 3 0.1
New Plymouth District 549 4.8 42 0.4
Stratford District 15 0.9 3 0.2
South Taranaki District 69 1.6 12 0.3
Ruapehu District 39 1.7 9 0.4
Wanganui District 246 3.5 24 0.3
Rangitikei District 27 1.1 9 0.4
Manawatu District 90 1.8 15 0.3
Palmerston North City 1755 10.1 219 1.3
Tararua District 57 2.0 3 0.1
Horowhenua District 135 3.1 24 0.5
Kapiti Coast District 207 3.4 12 0.2
Porirua City 513 5.7 57 0.6
Upper Hutt City 393 5.8 63 0.9
Lower Hutt City 1692 9.6 279 1.6
Wellington City 6045 16.6 912 2.5
Masterton District 78 2.1 15 0.4
Carterton District 18 1.8 0 0.0
South Wairarapa District 27 2.5 3 0.3
Tasman District 117 1.8 18 0.3
Nelson City 267 3.7 36 0.5
Marlborough District 135 2.2 54 0.9
Kaikoura District 15 2.9 3 0.6
Buller District 9 0.7 6 0.4
Grey District 39 1.8 6 0.3
Westland District 24 2.0 3 0.2
Hurunui District 24 1.7 6 0.4
Waimakariri District 87 1.4 21 0.3
Christchurch City 8808 13.5 732 1.1
Selwyn District 303 5.1 39 0.7
Ashburton District 69 1.6 27 0.6
Timaru District 147 2.2 21 0.3
Mackenzie District 27 4.6 6 1.0
Waimate District 42 0.6 12 0.2
Chatham Islands Territory c c c c
Waitaki District 81 3.0 3 0.1
Central Otago District 21 0.9 27 1.2
Queenstown-Lakes District 162 4.9 96 2.9
Dunedin City 3222 11.0 384 1.3
Clutha District 45 1.8 3 0.1
Southland District 51 1.1 12 0.3
Gore District 21 1.1 3 0.2
Invercargill City 177 2.0 21 0.2