Population and Demographics

Local authorities need accurate information about the size, make-up and distribution of the population across the region, now and into the future, to inform planning for infrastructure and local services. This information can also be useful to inform future planning for community organisations and businesses.

Census 2013

The Nelson:Census 2013 report gives information about a variety of demographic, social, and economic subjects for Nelson City. The information is based on the census usually resident population count for Nelson from Statistics New Zealand’s 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings, held on 5 March 2013.
Key highlights 2013

  • 46,437 people were usually resident in Nelson at March 2013.
  • Nelson’s population increased by 8.3 percent between 2006 and 2013, an average annual growth rate of 1.1 percent.
  • Over half of Nelson’s population growth was in Stoke.
  • The median age increased to 42.5 years, compared with 39.4 years in 2006 and New Zealand’s 2013 median age of 38.0 years.
  • There was a big increase in employment for people aged 65 years and over.
  • The median household income in Nelson was $54,300, compared with the national median household income of $63,800.
  • Over a quarter of households are one-person households.
  • Internet access in Nelson continued to rise, to 77.9 percent of households in 2013.
  • Almost three-quarters (73 percent) drive to work, compared with 60 percent for New Zealand.
  • Compared with the national average, Nelson has a higher percentage of people travelling to work by walking, jogging or cycling. In Nelson, 9.6 percent walked or jogged, compared with 6.8 percent for New Zealand, and 8.7 percent biked to work, compared with 2.9 percent for New Zealand.

 Further information is available from Statistics New Zealand. QuickStats give an overview of regions and area units covering topics such cultural diversity, income, housing and business.

Nelson Census 2013 A summary of key Census results (473KB PDF)

Population and Household Projections

The Nelson Population Projections 2018-48 report provides information on Nelson’s current and future population trends for use in various plans, particularly Asset and Activity Management Plans, Long Term Plans, the Infrastructure Strategy and resource management planning.
The report is based on the medium series of population projections published by Statistics New Zealand in December 2016, which use Census 2013 demographics and trends as a base.
Key future trends:

  • Population and household numbers increasing but at a slower rate
  • Ageing population
  • Smaller households
  • Growth in Stoke

Population and Household Projects for Nelson 2018-48 (110KB PDF)

Nelson’s Ageing Population

Between 2013 and 2043, the number of Nelson residents aged 65 and over is projected to more than double and will make up a third of the total Nelson population by 2043.

This report provides background information on Nelson’s demographic trends to understand the drivers of an ageing population.  The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of the components and characteristics of Nelson’s older population and to better understand the implications for Nelson of an ageing population. The report provides information on the current state and trends for the older population in Nelson in terms of housing, employment, income, health, transport and social connection.

Nelson's Ageing Population Summary of Research (1.3MB PDF)

Area-specific information
Stoke Demographics

The Stoke Demographics report summarises Census information together with population and household projections. The projections are based on area-unit projections published in February 2015, which are due to be updated later in 2017.
Stoke Demographics (163KB PDF)