Auckland has always been an ethnically diverse society. For the last 20 years or more changes in migration patterns have contributed to a substantial increase in the numbers of Asian people living in Auckland.
At the 2018 Census, over a quarter (28 per cent) of Auckland residents identified with an Asian ethnicity, a much higher proportion than for New Zealand as a whole at 15 per cent, and higher than recorded at the previous Census (23 per cent in 2013).
The largest sub-group were those who identified as Chinese, followed by those who identified as Indian. This group includes people who have migrated from overseas as well as those born in New Zealand.
The term 'Asian people' is a very broad category. It includes a range of national origins and ethnic identities.
There is no singular definition of the countries that make up 'Asia'. Stats NZ includes a wide range of countries from Georgia in the west to Japan in the east.
Compared to Auckland as a whole, Asian people:
- are younger
- have a higher percentage of people with higher level of education qualifications
- have a lower participation rate in the labour force and slightly higher unemployment rate.
Significant growth in Auckland's Asian population
Over the last two decades, Auckland's Asian population has experienced rapid growth.
In 1991, only 5 per cent of Auckland's residents identified with an Asian ethnicity. This proportion increased to over a quarter (28 per cent) in 2018.
This growth was mainly driven by a rapid increase in immigration, especially in the mid-1990s and then again since 2001.
Auckland's Asian population increased by approximately 135,000 in the period between 2013 (307,233 people) and 2018 (442,674 people).
The table below shows the changes in Auckland's Asian population between 2006 and 2013, by the five largest Asian ethnic groups in Auckland.
While those identifying as Chinese (11 per cent of Auckland's population) and Indian (10 per cent of Auckland's population) remained the largest two Asian sub-groups in 2018, the Filipino group increased significantly between 2013 and 2018 – by 38 per cent to reach 32,850.
There was an increase of 12 per cent in the number of Auckland residents who identified as Korean (from 21,981 in 2013 to 25,038 in 2018).
Changes in five largest Asian groups, Auckland and New Zealand (2013 and 2018)
|||2013||2018||Change 2013 to 2018 (%)||2013||2018||Change 2013 to 2018 (%)|
|Asian people total||307,230||442,674||31||471,708||707,598||33|
|Total people specifying ethnicity ||1,331,427||1,571,718||15||4,011,399||4,699,755||15|
Data source: Stats NZ Census of Population and Dwellings
This table shows the five largest Asian groups at Level 3 classification in Auckland as at 2018. People could choose more than one ethnicity and groups are not exclusive. Percentages will add to more than 100.
Overseas born Asian Aucklanders
Over the last two decades there has been a relatively rapid and sizeable increase in the numbers of Auckland residents born overseas.
As shown in the graph, between 2001 and 2013, while the number of Auckland residents born in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe increased at a steady rate, the number of Asian-born residents increased rapidly.