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1996 Census data

Since the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake we have been unable to link directly to most of the information listed below. Please email us if you want information below that is unavailable as a link.

Every five years Statistics New Zealand makes an official count of the population and dwellings in New Zealand. Statistics New Zealand conducted the 1996 Census of Population and Dwellings on Tuesday, 5 March 1996. 


Data releases from the1996 Census, providing population and dwelling numbers for regions, cities, districts, and area units, and key characteristics of the New Zealand population.

  • Classification counts 
  • Final population counts
  • Iwi affiliation
  • Population characteristics
  • Post-enumeration survey  

New Zealand Now reports

The New Zealand Now series is a set of reports, which introduces and discusses a diverse range of topical subjects, drawing together results from the 1996 Census and from other sources.

  • 65 Plus report (1998)
  • Children report (1998)
  • Families and Households report (1998)
  • Housing report (1998)
  • Incomes report (1999)
  • Māori report (1998)
  • Māori (in Te Reo Māori) report (1998)
  • People and Places report (1996)
  • People Born Overseas report
  • Women report (1998)
  • Young New Zealanders report (1998)

Pacific profiles

Pacific profiles use the 1996 Census to provide information on the six largest Pacific Island communities in New Zealand.

  • Pacific peoples living in New Zealand
  • Cook Islands People in New Zealand
  • Fijian People in New Zealand
  • Niuean People in New Zealand
  • Samoan People in New Zealand
  • Tokelauan People in New Zealand
  • Tongan People in New Zealand

Methodology paper

Following enactment of the Electoral Act 1993, Statistics NZ developed mathematical formulas for the Government Statistician to calculate the number of Māori and General electorates. The methodology, calculations and examples using 1996 Census data are available in The mathematics of electoral district allocation in New Zealand (published in 2000).

Reference reports

This series of reference reports provide detailed statistics on the characteristics of New Zealand's population, households and dwellings from the 1996 Census.

  • Education
  • Electoral Profile (1995 boundaries)
  • Electoral Profile (1998 Boundaries)
  • Employment and Unemployment
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Families and Households
  • Housing
  • Incomes
  • Iwi
  • Māori
  • Pacific Islands People
  • People Born Overseas
  • Population and Dwellings Statistics
  • Population Structure and Internal Migration
  • National Summary
  • Regional Summary
  • Unpaid Work
  • Report on the 1996 Post-enumeration Survey

Regional information

The territorial authority leaflets provide a brief overview of the population characteristics of your area, and the standard regional tables offer a comprehensive range of regional tables down to area unit level.

Information about data

The Introduction to the Census covers the history of census-taking in New Zealand and contains census forms back to 1916. A list of the classifications and standards used for the 1996 Census is also provided. The 1996 Census Information Guide provides a list of all the variables availabe from the 1996 Census.

Page updated 22 August 2017

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