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 include 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 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 almost 70,000 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 108 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.
Number of overseas born by area of birth, Auckland residents, 2001, 2006, 2013
Data source: Stats NZ censuses 2001-2013
The number of people born in southern Asian countries (e.g. India, Sri Lanka) in 2013 (52,521) was more than double that in 2001 (18,867).
This was followed by an increase of 66.9 per cent in migrants born in North-east Asian countries (60,627 in 2001 compared to 101,208 in 2013).
A further breakdown of Auckland's Asian-born population by country of birth shows that the largest number was born in China (65,385 in 2013). The second largest group were those born in India (43,407 in 2013).
As suggested by the rapid growth in the number of people identifying as Filipino in the table above, the number of Auckland residents who were born in the Philippines increased by 105 per cent between 2006 and 2013 (18,621 in 2013).
Number of overseas born by top 10 Asian countries of birth, Auckland residents 2006-2013
Source: Stats NZ censuses 2006-2013
Projected increase in Asian population
Auckland will experience increasing ethnic diversity in the next few decades.
Stats NZ's ethnic population projections suggest that much of this will come from substantial growth in the Asian population, compared to the other main ethnic groups.
The number of people in the broad Asian category is projected to increase by 439,900 between 2013 and 2038 to reach 788,800.
Projected growth in ethnic groups in Auckland, 2013 to 2038
Source: Stats NZ, subnational ethnic population projections.
People can identify with more than one ethnicity and the four groups are not mutually exclusive.
Geographic distribution of Asian peoples
Several areas in Auckland have relatively high Asian population densities.
In 2013, areas in Botany Downs and Dannemora had the highest concentration of Auckland's Asian population, with approximately 60 to 80 per cent of the local population identifying as Asian.
Areas in the southeast, Auckland's city centre, parts of the Auckland isthmus and central parts of the North Shore also had over half of the local population identifying as Asian.
Asian population density - Map for Auckland's urban core