However, the district itself is sparsely populated by North Island, New Zealand standards. 75,300 people live in this principally rural-based area that covers around 418,900 hectares.

The Waikato district is young, with a median age of 38.2 years compared to the New Zealand median age of 38.0 years. The district also has fewer people aged over 65 (12.5 percent) and a larger number of people (23.5 percent) aged under 15 than the national average.

The population, due to lifestyle, access to a growing number of jobs plus career opportunities in both Auckland and Hamilton, is growing faster in the greater Waikato than in many other places in New Zealand. By 2031, the Waikato district population is projected to be 88,200.

According to population projections from the University of Waikato, population growth in Waikato district of more than 26% is expected over the next 15 years (from about 69,900 in 2016 to 88,200 in 2031). Regionally, the population is increasing by 1 per cent per year, which is much the same rate for the whole of New Zealand. It is predicted that the Waikato region’s population will increase from 258,000 in 2013 to 368,000 in 2063, driven largely by its recognised economic potential.

Auckland city to the north, and Hamilton city to the south are also experiencing significant population growth. As at June 2013, the population of Auckland was 1.57 million, an 8.2 percent increase since 2006.  Hamilton’s population is now 154,000, a 1.6 percent increase over the last 10 years.

Ethnically, the Waikato district has low numbers of Pacific Island peoples (3 percent) and Asian people (4.7 percent) but a higher proportion of Māori (19 percent). The majority of residents (72 percent) identify as European.

In 2012, life expectancy at birth in New Zealand was 79.3 years for males and 83 years for females.  These statistics are similar for the Waikato district.

Statistics NZ website - census data

Waikato District Council website

Click here to download our 2013 Census Population by Ward map.

2013 Census Population by Ward

growth in waikato district surpasses wellington, affordability sited.

23 January 2017

Waikato is confirmed as the highest-growth district council in the North Island according to the latest figures from Statistics NZ, and housing affordability may be part of the reason.

Positioned in the ‘golden triangle’ between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, Waikato District Council is issuing more consents for new dwellings each year than any other North Island council apart from its closest city neighbours – Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. 

“The latest figures show we’re even ahead of Wellington,” says Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson. 

In the year ending November 2016, Waikato District Council issued 849 new building consents, up 55% on the previous year.  In the same period Wellington City Council issued 751 new building consents, Hamilton City Council 1,245, Tauranga City Council 1,704 and Auckland City 10,137.

Mayor Sanson says, “We are now dealing with more than twice the number of consents for new dwellings than three years ago as the district attracts new residents from both Auckland and Hamilton seeking a small-town or country lifestyle.”

According to the latest QV figures (December 2016) the average value of a house in Waikato district is $429,013 up 24.6% on the previous year, compared with the average house values in Auckland $1,047,179, Hamilton $534,860 and Tauranga $672,197.

“We’re a small district of about 70,000, and expecting to grow to nearly 90,000 by 2030-31, so we’re focussed on managing this rapid growth in sustainable ways.  This means we’re seeking ways to build the infrastructure we need while maintaining affordable rates, caring for our environment, and encouraging local employment opportunities to support our growing communities.”

Recent decisions by the Ports of Auckland to establish a major inland port at Horotiu and Yashili to establish an infant formula plant in Pokeno point to growing business interest in establishing in Waikato district he says.

Three South Island councils figure among the top eight issuing new dwelling consents in the year to November 2016 with Christchurch issuing 3,372, Selwyn District Council 1,275 and Queenstown-Lakes District Council 928.

Click here for waikato town fact sheets.

move your business to waikato district - talk with open waikato

Economic facts

Infometrics delivers economic information, research, analysis and forecasts that can assist businesses and other organisations in making their policy, planning and strategic decisions.

Industry sectors

Waikato’s economy is robust and growing, underpinned by a number of key industries including agriculture, electricity generation, mining and manufacturing. The district is rich in natural resources and vital infrastructure and a significant contributor to the Waikato region.

Economic overview

There’s no better place to do business than in the Waikato district. Smart investors and business people are Waikato-based because the district offers everything they need, and more, to make their enterprises successful and well positioned for growth.


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