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Methods - how we monitor

Where and how we collect the data

Monitoring sites

The data were collected across New Zealand by Statistics New Zealand as part of the Census of Population and Dwellings. The purpose of the Census is to collect demographic and social statistics, which can be used by Government, business and community organisations for planning and other decision making.

Monitoring frequency

This indicator is updated every five years after the results of each Census are published. The next Census is due in 2018.

Monitoring history

Census information on the population structure is freely available for the period 1991-2013 from the Statistics New Zealand website.

The 2011 census was deferred until 2013 due to the Canterbury earthquakes.

Measurement technique

The population Census is a self-administered hand-delivered questionnaire carried out every five years. Statistics New Zealand tries to cover all people in New Zealand on Census night. Data are entered into a national database and rounded to ensure anonymity. Data are summarised into various levels including national, regional and territorial authority.

How this indicator is compiled

  • Data were sourced from the NZ.Stat table "Ethnic group (grouped total responses) by age group and sex, for the census usually resident population count, 2001, 2006, and 2013 (RC, TA, AU)" on the Statistics New Zealand website.
  • The numbers of people in each age and gender category were displayed as a stacked bar graph.
  • The dependency ratios were calculated as follows:
    Number of people aged 0-14 x 100
    Number of people aged 15-59
    Number of people aged 60+ x 100
    Number of people aged 15-59
    No. of people aged 0-14 + number of people aged 60+ x 100
    Number of people aged 15-59

Guidelines and standards

None relevant to this indicator.


There is no means of checking whether the data provided were accurate. Although it is an offence under Part III of the Statistics Act 1975 and people must sign a declaration that the information supplied is true and correct, some people may have falsified answers.

Further indicator developments

No changes are planned for this indicator.

Quality control procedures

Statistics New Zealand does not check the quality of the data supplied by individuals. Checks are made on the quality of data entry and on the analysis.


  1. Copyright: Information obtained from Statistics New Zealand may be freely used, reproduced, or quoted unless otherwise specified. In all cases Statistics New Zealand must be acknowledged as the source.