New Zealand Statistics library subject guide , Aratohu kaupapa mō ngā tatauranga o Aotearoa

This guide covers general New Zealand statistics from a wide range of sources from the 1840s to the present.

New Zealand statistics specific to a particular subject are covered on the subject guide relevant to that subject. The study of statistics is covered on the Mathematics and Statistics library subject guide.

Please note: Māori Statistics are available on this page.

Historical statistics

Includes guides and time series data: 1840 to 1852; 1853 to 1920; 1921 to current.

Guides

Guide to New Zealand Official Statistics 3rd ed. 1955
Statistical Publications 1840 - 1960 1961
Understanding Aotearoa/New Zealand: Historical Statistics 1997
History of Statistics in New Zealand 1999
Working with Statistics
A directory of the location of statistics on the New Zealand Māori population from official sources (1991)
Te Iwi Māori: a New Zealand population, past, present and projected (1991)

Time series data

New Zealand official statistics have been collected since 1840, when the Colonial Secretary was responsible for their collection. From 1853 - 1910 the Registrar-General was responsible, and from 1910 to the present, the Government Statistician is responsible for statistics collection.

1840 - 1852

Blue Book of Statistics 1840 
Statistics of New Zealand for the Crown Colony Period 1840 - 1852

Compiled from a number of sources including: New Zealand Government Gazette, New Zealand Blue Books, Parliamentary Papers of Great Britain and statistics gathered in government departments and regions, plus other publications published at this time.

1853 - 1920

Long-term Data Series

Use Infoshare to search for long term New Zealand data.

Statistics of New Zealand for... 1853 - 1920

This series started in 1853 with Volume 1 covering 1853 - 1856. The series is compiled from official records, however, Volume 1 (1853-1856) is not complete, due to fire destroying some Wellington records and census data collected on different months throughout the regions. Between 1856 - 1920 the series was produced annually.

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (A to Js)

1858 - present in print
1858 - 1950 online - AtoJsOnline
Early volumes included statistical data in annual reports, e.g. Police (G6).

Observations on the state of the aboriginal inhabitants of New Zealand (1859)
Municipal Handbook

Published biennially from 1903 - 1926. Covers material relating to each of the cities and boroughs in New Zealand.

Monthly Abstracts of Statistics 1914 - 1989

See the next section (1921 - Current) for information on more recent developments with the Monthly Abstract of Statistics.

1921 - Current

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (A to Js)

1858 - present in print
1858 - 1950 online - AtoJsOnline
Early volumes included statistical data in annual reports, e.g. Police (G6).

Municipal Handbook

Published biennially from 1903 - 1926, when its title changed to Local Authority Statistics. Covers material relating to each of the cities and boroughs in New Zealand.

Monthly Abstracts of Statistics 1914 - 1989

Continued by Key Statistics.

Key Statistics 1989 - 2010

Continued by Stats NZ's All topics.

Demographic Trends 1987 - 2007
Stats NZ

The Stats NZ website provides a huge amount of data. Much of it is available online from the 1980s and 1990s.

Stats NZ: All topics
Information Releases

Stats NZ's Information Releases, which provide the latest statistical snapshots.

Historical Annual Statistical Reports from 1921

Nine individual annual statistical reports followed on from the Statistics of New Zealand for... series from the early 1920s, changing their titles at regular intervals:

  • Population, migration & buildings
  • Shipping, trade
  • Justice
  • Agricultural & pastoral production
  • Insurance
  • Local government
  • Prices
  • Building societies & bankruptcy
  • Industrial manufacturing

New Zealand census

The census is the official count of population and dwellings in New Zealand, providing a ‘snapshot’ of our society at a point in time. The New Zealand census is currently taken every five years.

The census counts everyone who was in New Zealand on census night and provides key information about the people living in cities, towns, suburbs and rural communities.

The first census for the whole colony was taken in 1851, including data only on Europeans. The first census to include Māori was taken in 1858 (see the book Observations on the State of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of New Zealand).

Māori were not 'counted' on the same basis as Europeans until 1945.

Pre-1851

Provincial data was recorded.

Historical account of the New Zealand Census

Read a historical account of the New Zealand Census in the 1921 Census, pages 2 to 11.

1851 to 1877

Statistics of New Zealand for... 1853-1872

Includes the Census results for 1858, 1861, 1864, 1867.

Results of a Census of the Colony of New Zealand Taken for the Night of the... 1874-1906

Census data for 1874 - 1906.

Census 1871 to 1916

Digitised census of population and dwellings.

1877 - Current

The Census Act 1877 provided for a census to be taken in 1878, 1881 and then every following five years. There have been three exceptions: 1931 (economic reasons in the Depression), 1941 (World War II) and 2011 (Christchurch earthquake).

Results of a Census of the Colony of New Zealand Taken for the Night of the.. 1874-1906
Results of a Census of the Dominion of New Zealand Taken for the Night of the... 1911-1921
Population Census 1926-1961
New Zealand Population Census, 1951
New Zealand Population Census, 1956
New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings 1966-1981
Search Discover for a list of publications of New Zealand Census data for 1986
Search Discover for a list of publications of New Zealand Census data for 1991
Search Discover for a list of publications of New Zealand Census data for 1996

Some publications are also available online.

Search Discover for a list of publications of New Zealand Census data for 2001

Some publications are also available online.

Search Discover for a list of publications of New Zealand Census data for 2006

Some publications are also available online.

Search Discover for a list of publications of New Zealand Census data for 2013

Some publications are also available online.

Search Discover for a list of publications of New Zealand Census data for 2018

Most publications are available online.

Stats NZ: Census

Click on Census tab for more information on New Zealand census

New Zealand Official Yearbook

The New Zealand Official Yearbook has provided a comprehensive statistical picture of life in New Zealand since 1893.

It has been produced annually since then, except for combined issues for 1921/22, 1947/49, 1951/52 and none being published in 1991.

The Yearbook covers a wide range of information on New Zealand; some issues have additional 'specific’ subject content such as:

  • 1990 – sesquicentennial issue includes historical material and cumulated tables
  • 1993 – women’s suffrage
  • 2000 – profile of New Zealand

Print Yearbook

The Yearbook in print, 1893 to 2010.

New Zealand Official Yearbook

Digital Yearbook Collection

View the New Zealand Yearbook online from 1893 to 2012.

Digital Yearbook Collection

Maps and boundaries

Stats NZ uses defined boundaries for the data it collects, however, some boundaries have changed over time. Agencies other than Stats NZ may use different boundaries. Statistics between agencies may not be easily compared.

As there are few boundary maps available before 1920, comparison of data over time will be difficult for areas smaller than provincial districts. Maps appear in some census volumes.

Atlas of New Zealand Regional Statistics 1968

Maps of Statistical Boundaries : Statistical Areas, Statistical Divisions, Urban Areas, Subdivisions of Cities and Urban Areas, Counties 1971
Statistical Maps of New Zealand 1981
Atlas of New Zealand Boundaries 1986
Atlas of New Zealand Boundaries 1996
Urban Area Boundaries 1996

Census boundary maps by region. Boundaries include Area Unit, Urban Area and Regional Council.

Geographic data and maps

Stats NZ's interactive boundary maps show facts about geographic areas in New Zealand, including the number of people and households. They show the boundaries used for electorates, selected Censuses (including the regions, towns or cities, area units, and meshblocks) and other geographic boundaries.

Electorate Boundaries

Online data collections

Find data from Stats NZ, other government agencies and NGOs.
IDI Integrated Data Infrastructure

Joint venture between Massey University and Stats NZ. Research database with microdata about people and households, such as education, migration, health, income.

Data is sourced from Government Agencies, Stats NZ and NGOs. Application for use of this data is required.

19th Century Statistical Publications

Digitised copies of 19th century statistical publications from 1841 to 1892.


Infoshare

A New Zealand statistics database containing up-to-date business, economic, social, and trade statistics.


NZ.Stat

Offers a wide range of topic areas. Use the tables to build data sets relevant to your needs. Includes some 2013 census data, agriculture, crime, business, housing and more.


Official Māori Statistics via Stats NZ

Find data and statistics for and about Māori and iwi in Aotearoa New Zealand, including wellbeing, population, and iwi information.

Data.govt.nz: Government Datasets Online

A directory of publicly-available, non-personal New Zealand government held datasets. This site does not host data, but links to datasets held on other government websites.

Factiva

Access to global news and business information, including stock market and company and industry sector data. About this resource

Passport

Provides information on: consumers, countries, industries, and companies. About this resource

Other New Zealand article databases

These may provide background information on New Zealand statistics, for example:

Combine your subject search terms with the search term statistics for example "tertiary education" AND statistics

Statistics for university staff and students

University staff and students can apply for access to Stats NZ data, customised for their research.

Statistics for university staff and students is an agreement between Stats NZ and the Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL).  This agreement enables academics, researchers, and students at all New Zealand universities to obtain an additional range of statistical products and data packages. The content of this agreement is subject to a review every 12 months.

Contact Person for Massey University

The role of the university contact officer is to manage the internal administrative processes on behalf of their university.

Barbara Rainier
B.A.Rainier@massey.ac.nz

Related subject guides

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