However, the district itself is sparsely populated by North Island, New Zealand standards. Around 70,000 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.
Click here to download our 2013 Census Population by Ward map.