Thursday, February 11, 2010

You don't have to believe these, but...

The latest demographic trends are out now, with a focus on 2009. It's wise to remember that these are projections - some may prove accurate, some not. (The NZ birth rate took a surprising leap forward in the last year or two, for instance, something that wasn't expected.) I've italicized some of the more interesting points:

  • New Zealand’s population is projected to reach five million in the mid-2020s, according to the mid-range scenario (series 5) of the 2009-base projections.
  • The population growth rate will slow steadily, because of the narrowing gap between births and deaths. By 2061, natural increase (births minus deaths) is projected to be 5,000, down from over 30,000 in 2009.
  • The age structure of the population will continue to undergo gradual but significant changes, resulting in more older people and further ageing of the population.
  • Half of New Zealand’s population will be aged 43 years and older by 2061, compared with a median age of 37 years in 2009.
  • The population aged 65 years and over will surpass one million by the late-2020s, compared with 550,000 in 2009.
  • Between 2006 and 2026, the broad Asian, Pacific, and Māori ethnic populations are all projected to grow faster than the New Zealand population overall.
  • The numbers of families and households will grow faster than the population between 2006 and 2031, reflecting the trend towards smaller average household size.
  • The average size of households will decrease from 2.6 people in 2006 to 2.4 people in 2031.
  • One-person households are projected to increase by an average of 2.2 percent a year, from 363,000 in 2006 to 619,000 in 2031.
  • Most of the growth in families will be in ‘couple without children’ families, as the large number of people born during the 1950s to early-1970s reach ages 50 years and over.
  • New Zealand's labour force is projected to keep increasing from an estimated 2.24 million in 2006 to 2.65 million in 2031, and 2.79 million in 2061.
  • Half the New Zealand labour force will be older than 42 years in 2031, compared with a median age of 40 years in 2006, and 36 years in 1991.

  • There are a number of important points here - some we've mentioned more than once on this blog. How significant is the increase in non-European peoples for the nation as a whole? What about all those people living alone in their own little houses - there's a whole ministry in that area alone for many churches. Will we as Christians be ready for the increase in older people - or will we continue to focus mostly on the young (important as that is)?

    Stats picture by roel

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