New Zealand Geography and Demographics
Total Area (New Zealand and countries of similar size):
- New Zealand: 270,534 square kilometers (104,453 square miles).
- Great Britain and N. Ireland - slightly smaller; 244.820 square kilometers
- Philippines - slightly larger; 300,000 square kilometers
- Italy - slightly larger: 301,230 square kilometers
- Japan - slightly larger; 377,835 square kilometers
Overseas territories governed by New Zealand are the Ross Dependency, in Antarctica, and Tokelau in the Pacific Ocean, to the north of Samoa.
The Cook Islands and Niue, also in the Pacific, are self-governing territories in free association with New Zealand.
The capital of New Zealand is Wellington City (New Zealand's third largest city after Auckland and Christchurch).
- New Zealand's population: 4.1 million people, 5 million beef cattle, 4 million dairy cattle, 39.9 million sheep (Sheep numbers have declined from 70 million in the mid-1980s, as a result of pressure from competition in export) markets and the deregulation of the economy), deer-farming; in the mid-1990s more than 1.2 million head were kept.
The following countries have similar land area yet their population saturation is much higher than New Zealand:
- Great Britain and N. Ireland - 60 million people (15 times higher than New Zealand)
- Italy - slightly larger: 60 million people (also, 15 times higher than New Zealand)
- Philippines - slightly larger; 93 million people (23 times higher than New Zealand)
- Japan - slightly larger; 130 million people (32 times higher than New Zealand)
Ethnic Composition as of 2007:
73 percent European; 12 percent Native Maori; 4 percent Polynesian; 11 percent other, including Chinese, Korean and other Asian peoples.
Ethnic Composition from 2006 to 2026:
Projections indicate that the proportion of New Zealand's population that identifies with a European or Other ethnicity will drop from 77 percent in 2006 to 69 percent in 2026. By comparison, the proportion identifying with Māori ethnicity will increase from 15 percent to 17 percent, with a Pacific ethnicity from 7 to 10 percent, and with an Asian ethnicity from 10 to 16 percent. About 1 percent of New Zealand's population identified with ethnicities outside of these four broad ethnic groups in 2006. People who identify with more than one ethnicity are included in each ethnic population that they identify with. As a result, the ethnic populations overlap.
English, Maori, and Sign, are the official languages of New Zealand, although the country is predominantly English speaking. Almost all Maori speak English; about 50,000 (12 per cent) are considered fluent Maori speakers. Other Polynesian and European, as well as Asian, languages are spoken by a small percentage of the population.
The religious makeup of New Zealanders is: 22 percent Anglican; 21 percent none; 16 percent Presbyterian; 15 percent Roman Catholic; 26 percent other
More about New Zealand
New Zealand has a distinct culture and heritage. Lifestyles are generally more relaxed and informal than in most other developed countries and New Zealanders are self-reliant and practical, open and hospitable. They tend to have little patience for ostentatious or loud behavior. They also value their families and their leisure time.
New Zealand offers some of the most beautiful and varied Landscapes on earth. You can experience the sights of high snowcapped peaks, glaciers, steep fjords, ancient beech forests, a wild coastline with unusual wildlife; long, deserted sandy beaches, alpine meadowlands, wide open sheep country, bubbling hot springs, green lush rainforests and a great deal more.
You can swim with dolphins, walk with newborn lambs, go whale watching, or fish for fattened trout or a bounty of saltwater fish.
Because it's such a compact place, travel within New Zealand - whether by plane, bus, rail, car or campervan - is affordable and efficient. Accommodation too is cheap and varied. And the culinary promise of venison, fresh seafood, sublime ice cream and award-winning wines should more than whet the appetite.