The growth rate of the number of people identifying with the Indian ethnic group outstripped that of the Chinese ethnic group in the third consecutive New Zealand census.

In 2018 census, the Indian population grew at 43.00 per cent as opposed to Chinese ethnic population’s 34.98 per cent.

The Chinese population, however, remained the largest Asian ethnic group with the number of people residents on the census-night March 6, 2018, at 231,387.

Indian population remained a close-second at 221,916 on the census night.

The census night population count of New Zealand is a count of all people present in New Zealand on given census night. The census usually resident population count of New Zealand is a count of all people who usually live in and were present in New Zealand on census night.

It excludes overseas visitors and New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas. The following population information is based on the census usually resident population.

This is the third successive New Zealand census where the growth rate of the Indian population has outstripped the Chinese after first growing in 2001-2006 and 2006-2013 period at 68.2 per cent and 48.4 per cent respectively.

The Chinese population, on the other hand, has been growing 40.5 and 16.2 per cent respectively during the same period. 

In that regard, the Chinese population has grown much faster in the latest census 2018, almost doubling-up from the previous census period (2006-2013) to grow at 34.98 per cent.

Following the current growth patterns of the both Indians and Chinese, it is estimated that the Indian population will outstrip Chinese as the largest Asian ethnic group by the next census in 2023 unless there is any major disruption.

Ethnic Group

2001 Census

2006 Census

2013 Census

2018 Census

Percentage change 2001–2006

Percentage change 2006–2013

Percentage change 2013–2018

Chinese

105,057

147,567

171,411

231,387

40.5

16.2

34.98

Indian

62,187

104,583

155,178

221,916

68.2

48.4

43.00