2.2 million households expected by 2038

Dec 11, 2017 | Research

Updated subnational family and household projections released today by Statistics New Zealand indicate future changes in the number and composition of families and households in New Zealand. One person living alone, or many people living together are examples of household types.

“Growth in the number of households reflects population growth from net migration and natural increase, but also population ageing, which is changing our country’s age composition,” population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.

“The projections suggest we’ll need more houses for these households, but different houses from what we’ve typically built, given the likely growth in one- or two-person households. The projections provide useful information for government, businesses, and communities thinking about future demand for infrastructure and services,” Mr Dolan said.

Nearly half the projected additional households in 2038 will be in the Auckland region, 31 percent in the rest of the North Island, and almost 20 percent in the South Island. However, much of the growth is expected to come in the short term. All regions, cities, and most districts are projected to grow faster in the years to 2023 than for the rest of the projection period.

Family households will continue to be the biggest proportion of households in all areas, although their share is likely to decrease – with one-person households making up an increasing share in most areas. This is driven by population ageing, as older people are the most likely to live alone. Of those living alone, 64 percent are projected to be aged 60+ in 2038, compared with 54 percent in 2013.

As more people will be living in one- or two-person households, the average household size in most areas is expected to drop slightly. Of the cities and districts, Thames-Coromandel is projected to have the lowest average household size in 2038 – 2.0 people (compared with 2.2 in 2013); Auckland will have the highest – 2.8 people per household (compared with 2.9 in 2013).

Note: A household comprises one person who usually resides alone, or two or more people who usually reside together and share facilities (such as eating facilities, cooking facilities, bathroom and toilet facilities, a living area).

Subnational family and household projections are available for New Zealand’s 16 regional council areas (regions), 67 territorial authority areas, and 21 Auckland local board areas.

For more information about these statistics click here.

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