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Nuiean - Population

Age and sex distribution | Place of birth | Duration of residence | Geographical distribution

The information presented in this profile is based on the census usually resident population count. The Niuean population includes those people who stated Niuean as their sole ethnicity or as one of several ethnic groups. The Pacific population refers to all those who stated a Pacific ethnicity.

  • Niuean people were the fourth largest Pacific ethnic group living in New Zealand in 2001, comprising 20,100 or 9 percent of New Zealand's Pacific population (231,800).
  • The largest Pacific ethnic group was Samoan (50 percent), followed by the Cook Island Maori (23 percent) and Tongan (18 percent) ethnic groups. The Fijian (3 percent) and Tokelauan (3 percent) groups followed the Niuean ethnic group in population size.
  • The Niuean population increased by 1,700 or 9 percent between 1996 and 2001. During the same five-year period, the total Pacific population increased by 15 percent.
  • Growth of the Niuean population was slower between 1996 and 2001 than it was between 1991 and 1996, when it increased by 4,000 or 28 percent.
  • In the decade to 2001, the Niuean population increased by 40 percent, as figure 1.1 illustrates.

graph - Niuean population in New Zealand, 1991-2001

Age and sex distribution

  • The Niuean population is very youthful, as figure 1.2 illustrates. In 2001, 41 percent of Niueans were under 15 years of age, compared with 23 percent of the New Zealand population. Four percent of Niueans were aged 65 years and over, compared with 12 percent of the New Zealand population.
  • In 2001, the median age, or midpoint of the Niuean age distribution, was 19.7 years. By comparison, the median ages for the Pacific and New Zealand populations were 21.0 years and 34.8 years respectively.
  • The sexes are evenly balanced, with Niuean females (10,200) and Niuean males (10,000) each making up 50 percent of the Niuean population. Figure 1.2 shows that this pattern continues through the age groups, although females make up the majority (59 percent) of Niuean people aged 65 years and over – a reflection of their longer life expectancy.

graph - Age-Sex Distribution of the Niuean Population, 2001

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Place of birth

  • New Zealand-born Niueans accounted for 70 percent of the total Niuean population in New Zealand in 2001, up from 66 percent in 1996. In 1991, 57 percent of Niuean people living in New Zealand were New Zealand-born.
  • In 2001, 86 percent of overseas-born Niuean people in New Zealand gave Niue as their birthplace.
  • Between 1996 and 2001, the New Zealand-born Niuean population grew by 16 percent, while the overseas-born Niuean population decreased by 2 percent.
  • The New Zealand-born Niuean population has a much younger age structure than the overseas-born Niuean population. In 2001, 56 percent of the New Zealand-born Niuean population were under the age of 15 years, whereas 6 percent of the overseas-born population were under 15 years.
  • Two percent of New Zealand-born Niuean people were aged between 45 and 64, whereas 30 percent of the overseas-born population were in this age group in 2001.

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Duration of residence

  • The majority (63 percent) of Niueans born overseas had been resident in New Zealand for more than 20 years at the time of the 2001 Census, while a further 21 percent had been resident for between 10 and 20 years.
  • In 2001, two percent of the overseas-born Niuean population had been in New Zealand for less than one year – a similar level to 1996 (3 percent).

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Geographical distribution

  • Ninety-three percent of all Niuean people lived in main urban areas (populations of 30,000 or more) in 2001 – up 1 percentage point from 1996.
  • The geographical distribution of Niuean people was also largely unchanged from 1996. In 2001, 78 percent of the Niuean community was concentrated in the greater Auckland area (an increase of 1 percentage point since 1996).
  • The next largest concentration of Niuean people was in the Wellington urban area (6 percent in 2001 and 1996).
  • More than one third (35 percent) of the total Niuean population lived in southern Auckland, while a further 29 percent lived in central Auckland.
  • The largest Niuean community in the South Island in 2001 was in the Christchurch urban area, with 390 or 2 percent of all Niuean people.

Pacific Profiles - Niuean

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