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NZ Statistics: Census

Find statistical information and data from historic to current, using databases, online data sources and publications


Key dates for the NZ Census of population and dwellings:

  • 1851: New Zealand's first census. Problems with administration. Māori not included. Figures not published until 1954 in "Statistics of New Zealand for  the Crown Colony period, 1840-1852" - Central Govt Pubns  3T5ws S
  • Since 1858 statistics of the official census have been published
  • 1858, 1861, 1864 and 1867 censuses published in "Statistics of New Zealand" - Central Govt Pubns 3T5ws S
  • From 1871 each census has been individually published - Central Govt Pubns 3T5w C
  • 1871, 1874, 1878, 1881 - then 5 yearly to 1926
  • 1931: census not taken due to the Depression
  • 1936, 1945, 1951 - since then 5 yearly
  • 1945 census was substituted for 1941 and 1946 owing to World War 2
  • For the early history of the Census see the General report pp.1-16 of the 1921 Census 
  • 1986 Supermap - the Census made available as a database for the first time
  • 1991 Census issued as Supermap II
  • 1996 Census: Supermap III (includes some 1986, 1991 census data). Central, Hocken, Medical & Science Libraries
  • Census data is available online from 1996
  • 2001
  • 2006
  • 2011 cancelled due to the Christchurch Earthquake
  • 2011 - alternative sources of data
  • 2013, 5 yearly from now on

Print copies of the Census results are available from Central Library Government Publications from 1851.

Census 2013


Visit for resources about the 2013 Census.

Find census information leaflets in over 20 languages, census awareness posters and forms.

Watch around campus for advice on how to complete your census online.

Counting everyone in Canterbury – Statistics NZ is responding to the challenge of counting everyone in Canterbury on census day 5 March 2013, given the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes. 

Census help: 479 9020



Statistical information from the 1986, 1991, and 1996 New Zealand Census of population and dwellings, including data, tables and maps.

From 2001 Statistics NZ no longer offered mapping as a core service, so you will need access to GIS software to map results.

On campus access on these machines: Central ERAUSER01, Hocken, Medical and Science Libraries

Help notes are alongside the terminal

Data help: 479 9020

Tokelau Census

The 2011 Tokelau Census of Population & Dwellings was held on 18 October 2011.

Census Collector

Source: Statistics NZ

Census collectors hand out and retrieve print forms unless you complete the Census online.