Auckland has always been an ethnically diverse society. In the last 20 years changes in migration patterns have contributed to a substantial increase in the numbers of Asian people living in Auckland.
At the 2013 Census, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of Auckland residents identified with an Asian ethnicity, a much higher proportion than for New Zealand as a whole at 12 per cent, and higher than recorded at the previous Census (19 per cent in 2006).
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 almost a quarter (23 per cent) in 2013.
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 73,000 in the period between 2006 (234,279 people) and 2013 (307,233 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 (9 per cent of Auckland's population) and Indian (8 per cent of Auckland's population) remained the largest two Asian sub-groups in 2013, the Filipino group increased significantly between 2006 and 2013 – by 109 per cent to reach 20,499.
There was a modest increase of 3 per cent in the number of Auckland residents who identified as Korean (from 21,351 in 2006 to 21,981 in 2013).
Changes in five largest Asian groups, Auckland and New Zealand (2006 and 2013)
|||2006||2013||Change 2006 to 2013 (%)||2006||2013||Change 2006 to 2013 (%)|
|Asian people total||234,279||307,233||31||354,552||471,708||33|
|Total people specifying ethnicity ||1,239,051||1,331,427||7||3,860,163||4,011,402||4|
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 2013. 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.