Census returns show significant lift


Returns in New Zealand’s 2023 Census indicate a significant improvement on 2018 figures, Statistics Minister Dr Deborah Russell said.

“Collections for the 2023 Census officially close tomorrow (30 June) and I want to thank all communities in Aotearoa New Zealand for taking part,” Deborah Russell said.

“Thanks to the efforts of participants and collectors, we’re on track to achieve an excellent coverage rate.

“As at 29 June, 4,560,486 people had returned their individual forms. That indicates an estimated individual return rate of 89% nationally, a significant increase from 82% in 2018.

“There is clearly more work to do, particularly around the estimated 74% returns for those of Māori descent and 79% for people of Pacific ethnicity. They have also lifted from 2018 but are still not as high as we would want.

“In coming weeks, Stats NZ will finalise numbers and produce an estimated national collection response rate. The first official release of census data will be in May 2024.

“The final coverage and response rates will be released through a post census survey later in 2024.

“Stats NZ already has work underway to understand how we can further improve on the 2023 results, including an independent review in the coming months.

“In the context of that review, New Zealand will also be mindful of trends showing a decline in census participation internationally. Stats NZ continues to share knowledge with and learn from the experiences of other countries around how they’re gathering census data in the current era.

“Despite facing challenges such as Cyclone Gabrielle during the course of the 2023 Census, I have confidence that it will produce high-quality population data for the country.

“The information it gathers helps inform our future needs around infrastructure, health services and housing to name three key topics.

“I want to acknowledge Stats NZ and our many community partners for the key role they played in enabling New Zealanders to take part in the census.

“Stats NZ, alongside iwi, community leaders and other organisations stepped up to make this a more inclusive census, by making participation easier,” Deborah Russell said.