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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
  • 2013, 5 yearly from now on
  • 2018 
  • 2023
  • 2028 - in planning

Print copies of the Census results, from 1851, are available from Central Library Government Publications, Floor 1.

Census 2013 and 2018

 Access 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.

Census 2018 datasets are gradually being released.

Tokelau Census

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

Electorate Profiles

The Parliamentary Library has updated the electorate profiles for New Zealand’s seven Māori electorates and 65 general electorates, which are now available here.

These profiles are an important source of historical and statistical information and can help with understanding the diversity of communities and constituents within our electorates. They are the only source of census information presented by electorate. Read more about the electorate profiles here.

Learn about each electorate’s history, economic and social well-being, industries, education, health, culture and identity, and population. They also include information about previous election results, maps, and information about electorate boundaries and history.

The 2020 profiles include:

  • 2018 census statistics about people, health, education, housing work and incomes;
  • an explanation of the electorate boundaries and any changes made since 2014;
  • a brief history of the electorate and a summary of the main statistical features that characterise the electorate;
  • updated maps to show the new electorate boundaries;
  • expanded ‘people’, ‘housing’ and ‘work and incomes’ sections

The profiles will be updated again with the final 2020 election results, updated deprivation maps, and graphs.

Find the 2020 Electorate Profiles here. The 2017, 2011, and 2005 profiles are now located on the historical electorate profiles page.