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BOP population projection snapshot
Earlier this month Stats NZ released its subnational population projections. Based on 2018 data, the latest projections indicate the Bay of Plenty will have the fourth-highest growing population in New Zealand by 2048 and, between 2018 and 2023, will be the highest growing region.
Nationally, the low, medium and high growth projections all indicate that there will be more people living in most regions in 2048. However, the population growth rate will slow between 2018-2048 due to smaller family sizes and an ageing population. All areas will be home to more people aged 65 and over in 2048, while deaths will increase relative to births in almost all areas as the population ages.
In the medium term, New Zealand could have a smaller proportion of children in 2048 than in 2018. Additionally, the upper North Island – Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty – is projected to make up 53 per cent of NZ’s population by 2048 (medium projection). It was 50 per cent of the population in 2018. A recent news item on TV3’s The Project provided some corresponding insights into New Zealand’s decreasing birth rate, including the “Why”, and what it means for the future? Watch it here.
The significant increase in the 65+ population will have implications for investment in infrastructure and services, particularly concerning healthcare, housing and transport.
Naturally, these projected population changes bring with them many opportunities and challenges for the country and our region. The increases in our working-age population (15-64) enables opportunities to grow our talent in the region helping to fill the significant future workforce gaps.
Although this latest data doesn’t give a breakdown by ethnicity, current trends suggest the Bay of Plenty (particularly the Eastern Bay) will be home to a larger number of rangatahi (youth) and Māori aged between 0-39.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021