NZ by the numbers

July 26th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The has launched a 56 page publication called NZ by the numbers. Media tend to report mainly bad news as that is more sensational, and we get a deluge of crime stories. So the NZ Initiative decided to focus on the long term trends in NZ, and avoid the sensational headlines. They’ve found that in many (not all) areas things have improved a lot. Some highlights:

  • Rural population has declined from 60% in 1881 to 15% in 1981, but has been stable since.
  • Average population growth since 1992 has been 37,000 with 32,000 being new births and only 5,000 being net migration.
  • In 1935 only 0.3% of NZers said they had no religion, today it is 35%
  • Abortion rate dropping since 2003
  • Tobacco used has dropped by over two thirds since 1975
  • Male death rate has dropped 40% since 1980

The report is 150 pages in total and will be an invaluable reference tool. It is almost a replacement for the old NZ Yearbook.

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36 Responses to “NZ by the numbers”

  1. Harriet (5,112 comments) says:

    “….» In 1935 only 0.3% of NZers said they had no religion, today it is 35%…”

    And that would correlate with the increase in the size of government – and taxes. And the same would be true with other western governments.

    Besides that, that was after WW1. The loss of sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandads, ect was still being felt. It wasn’t a victory in the day to day lives of people.

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  2. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    It is interesting to note that only 35% say they have no religion. I wonder what that figure would be if the question was more about those that practice their religion. For many years I would put Anglican in that slot because I was Christened and Confirmed an Anglican when young. However, after some reflection I realised that filling the form in like that was wrong, I no longer practiced that religion or any other, and hadn’t for some time. I wonder how many others do the same – insert the ‘family’s religion’, despite neither practicing it, or believing in ‘God’?

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  3. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Harriet (4,503 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Do you think that maybe it has become ‘fashionable’ to have no religion, whereas a few decades back, everyone was expected to associate with a religion, despite not adhering to its values?

    It has never ceased to amaze me how many people declare to be religious, and yet fail in so many ways to adhere to any of the values and practices associated with that religion – almost like they are religious in name only?

    I wonder what the rates would be if they were judged by those that actually made an effort, such as yourself, to fulfill the commandments, etc that their religion requested?

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  4. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    The figures on religion are out of date:

    In 1936, 40% of New Zealanders reported themselves to be Anglicans, followed by Presbyterians at 25%, Catholics at 13%, and Methodists at 9%. Only 0.3% were willing to declare they had no religion.

    By 2006, Anglicans were down to 15%, Presbyterians 14%, Catholics 11%, Methodists 3%, and 35% declared no religious affiliation. To the degree that these drops in self-reported affiliation are reflected in church attendance, those figures indicate a major setback for the mainstream religions in New Zealand, except for Catholicism.

    From the 2013 census:

    The number and proportion of people indicating they had no religion increased between 2006 and 2013. In 2013, more than 2 in 5 people (41.9 percent) reported they had no religion. For the three most recent censuses, the numbers of people reporting no religion were:

    2013 – 1,635,345 people (41.9 percent of all people who stated their religious affiliation)
    2006 – 1,297,104 people (34.6 percent)
    2001 – 1,028,049 people (29.6 percent).

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-culture-identity/religion.aspx

    Those specifying a religion there will range from devout to nominal.

    In the past it was common to state a religion whether practising or not, but younger people are more likely to be more open.

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  5. Longknives (4,855 comments) says:

    “Fashionable” Atheists are the new Jehovah’s Witnesses-Relentlessly bombarding you with “Oh but you clearly haven’t read Dawkins” “Oh but Dawkins says..” and taking any opportunity they can to mock,insult and sneer at Christianity (Note they NEVER mock Buddhism ,Islam or Maori spiritual beliefs..)
    They are as blind in their following of their messiah as any religious cult…

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  6. Longknives (4,855 comments) says:

    “Male death rate has dropped 40% since 1980″

    That’s odd- I thought the death rate was always 100% for all of us….
    “You might be a king or a little street sweeper but sooner or later you dance with the Reaper..”

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  7. Harriet (5,112 comments) says:

    Judith.

    It’s actually fashionable to have a religion. Young people are just not into the traditional Churches as much as they are into being Buddists ect – but they don’t dislike them. Not that there is anything wrong with them in general either.

    People sin Judith, in the way that you have broken the speed limit. But then people expect Christians to be all nice, agreeable, forgiving & understanding, but that’s not what we are supposed to be.

    Most people fill the 10 commandments. Or at least 8 of them, honouring their mothers and fathers and keeping the Sabbath day Holy they may not – but most don’t steal anything or kill or speak against God.

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  8. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    I must be an unfashionable atheist then, I don’t know and don’t care what someone called Dawkins might write. Like most atheists I simply don’t have religious beliefs, I don’t see any need to analyse or explain an absence of something.

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  9. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    It’s funny how I get down ticked for providing more up to date facts and for simply stating my personal position on religion.

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  10. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Harriet

    I agree, although regarding the 10 commandments, most of them are really commonsense, and based around hurting or causing distress to others – such as killing, stealing, coveting and so on. I try to adhere to them as much as possible, and certainly even though my parents are dead, still honour my parents in every way possible. Keeping the Sabbath is of course a difficult one, especially as Sunday’s is business as usual in the commercial world. Besides, it is always difficult to work out just what the ‘Sabbath’ really is – given the change in calendars, and so on, I wonder just what day, would really be the correct one?

    Yes people sin – everyone does at some time or other – but I have always wondered about the conscious bit – if you don’t know its a sin – is it still a sin? Or is a sin determined by the eyes of others and not the individual sinner? Anyway, that’s probably a discussion for another time :-)

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  11. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Pete George (22,784 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:46 am

    The ticking system is not an indication of whether your post is sensible or even valid, but rather a personal ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ of the poster in many cases. If something makes me smile, they get a tick up regardless of who they are – if they are simply to attack someone personally for no reason other than they are a bully who cannot stand an opposing view, or just because they are plain nasty, then they get a tick down. Its a stupid system, but some people need a sign of approval to feel validated, so I guess it appeals to them.

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  12. FeralScrote (224 comments) says:

    Dry ur tears Longknives ,I`ll bet you have never had an atheist banging on your door telling you that you are not going to hell or had an atheist screaming at you in the street that you are not a sinner.
    Just because you get called out on a blog on the internet when you want to stuff religious BS down someones throat does not mean you are being persecuted.
    You are only getting a taste of what the rational amongst us have had to put up with for 2 thousand years.
    While you are at it google Fatwa envy.

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  13. Harriet (5,112 comments) says:

    “……I`ll bet you have never had an atheist banging on your door telling you that you are not going to hell or had an atheist screaming at you in the street that you are not a sinner…..You are only getting a taste of what the rational amongst us have had to put up with for 2 thousand years……”

    What’s wrong with people giving you a history lesson?

    Are you saying door to door salesmen should be banned from selling books? :cool:

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  14. Longknives (4,855 comments) says:

    “I`ll bet you have never had an atheist banging on your door telling you that you are not going to hell or had an atheist screaming at you in the street that you are not a sinner.”

    Did you find that quote in one of Dawkin’s books Feral??

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  15. dime (10,095 comments) says:

    Long knives – I thought the same thing!

    There’s talk of a third bill and teds too..

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  16. dime (10,095 comments) says:

    Feral – the only assholes who talk to me about religion in real life are atheists. They are beyond painful. They are more aggressive than any Christian.

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  17. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I have no problem with people who wish to share their knowledge and experience of religion. I like to share my knowledge and experience on various things, so why should they be any different? They have the added momentum of being ‘instructed’ by their doctrine to share the word.

    Sharing knowledge is not the problem – the problem comes when people won’t take no for an answer, or who target vulnerable people who are easy to sway, or to request money/goods from others. Then it has bigger issues. Most of those that knock on my door are told politely no thanks, and most simply go away and don’t push it. Sometimes I engage in conversation about what I believe and why, and usually get appreciation for doing so.

    There is no need to be rude, or objectionable, or feel challenged because someone believes something different to you, or is different to you – I think this world would be a hell of a lot better off if we were more accepting of difference and stopped seeing it as a threat. The only threat that I see is when people cannot cope with difference – and feel they need to exterminate those that don’t think the same as they do.

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  18. Longknives (4,855 comments) says:

    Dime- A Third Bill and Ted’s? Will Alex Winter have time with his busy schedule??

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  19. SGA (1,123 comments) says:

    Judith at 7:20 am

    I wonder how many others do the same – insert the ‘family’s religion’, despite neither practicing it, or believing in ‘God’?

    And there are those who call themselves religious, but it’s a personal thing – a general belief that there is something “else” but not tied to a specific religion.

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  20. flipper (4,194 comments) says:

    The publication is excellent, and it is nothing if not an excellent compendium of “odd-ball”, but important and useful data, compiled by a team headed by a C U academic, and, as DPF says, a very useful replacement for the old NZ Year Book, which sadly took so long to emerge from the Government Printer that it was almost useless (apart from being a book end).

    Of course there will be a few the “esoteric nit-pickers” (I note that some are here and already at it), and those that damn with faint praise by running off at tangents.

    BUT …… (Most of those a the launch had two topics on their minds, namely: “Will CminusT get more than 23 % (but enough of that, already been done to his death, and how to solve the Basin Reserve dilemma.) …. as I said last evening in relation to the “Holiday Highway”….

    *******

    flipper (3,538 comments) says:

    July 25th, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Along with about 188 others, Flipper attended a very enjoyable New Zealand Initiative (aka Business Roundtable) function in “The Boatshed”, Wellington, [Edit: Thursday, July 24] to mark the release of their latest publication “New Zealand by Numbers” (it is brilliant).

    The main topic of conversation was speculation on how J Key et al would deal with the thick as pig shit “board” decision on the Basin Reserve “flyover”.

    Key and Brownlee have already expressed dismay.

    The consensus was that post September 20 a repeat of the Finlayson bill on the National War Memorial was as near a certainty as possible.

    There was also dismay over the selection of board members by Amy Adams. A very smart lady, but politically dumb.
    *****
    Question: Where were U DPF????????? :-)

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  21. SGA (1,123 comments) says:

    Longknives at 7:32 am

    “Fashionable” Atheists are the new Jehovah’s Witnesses-Relentlessly bombarding you with “Oh but you clearly haven’t read Dawkins” “Oh but Dawkins says..” and taking any opportunity they can to mock,insult and sneer at Christianity (Note they NEVER mock Buddhism ,Islam or Maori spiritual beliefs..)

    Most non-religious people aren’t “fashionable atheists(tm)” though. If I worked with you (or harriet or Shawn, say) or knew you socially, I’d avoid talking religion with you like the plague. It’s just not worth the hassle.

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  22. Longknives (4,855 comments) says:

    “If I worked with you (or harriet or Shawn, say) or knew you socially, I’d avoid talking religion with you like the plague. It’s just not worth the hassle.”

    Why? Because I would call you out on your elevation of Richard Dawkins to ‘Messianic’ status?
    Because it’s unlikely I would try to force my Agnosticism on you…

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  23. SGA (1,123 comments) says:

    Longknives at 8:33 am

    Why? Because I would call you out on your elevation of Richard Dawkins to ‘Messianic’ status?

    No, it’s because you’d say silly things like that. Most non-religious people haven’t read any Dawkins. The only book I’ve read of his is “The Selfish Gene”. I’ve skimmed parts of someone’s “The God Delusion”, but really I couldn’t be bothered.

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  24. berend (1,715 comments) says:

    The book “Growing Apart: Regional Prosperity in New Zealand” has convinced me that national statistics are not very helpful. Basically we have two economies in one: Auckland + Wellington, and to some extend Christchurch. And then the rest of the country, and the differences are huge: http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Apart-Regional-Prosperity-Zealand-ebook/dp/B00LMR1BIU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406320925&sr=8-1&keywords=growing+apart

    So this report, while interesting, may hide a lot more than it purportedly demonstrates. I would like to see the numbers in this report, but per region.

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  25. elscorcho (155 comments) says:

    Is it 56 or 150 pages?

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  26. Longknives (4,855 comments) says:

    “The only book I’ve read of his is “The Selfish Gene”. I’ve skimmed parts of someone’s “The God Delusion”, but really I couldn’t be bothered.”

    You don’t sound like much of an Atheist to me mate! Careful.. They might revoke your membership…

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  27. mara (794 comments) says:

    All religions are open to ridicule except the “Religion of Peace” and we all know why. Mohammed cartoon anyone?

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  28. publicwatchdog (2,792 comments) says:

    How much money have member companies of NZ Initiative (ex-NZ Business Round Table) made out of the neo-liberal ‘Rogernomics’ reforms they supported ‘in the national interest’ – yeah right … Penny Bright

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  29. SGA (1,123 comments) says:

    Longknives at 9:03 am

    You don’t sound like much of an Atheist to me mate! Careful.. They might revoke your membership…

    LOL – I’m as much an atheist as I am an a-reincarnationist, an a-ghostist, an a-psychic, …. It’s a label others find more useful than me.

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  30. All_on_Red (1,643 comments) says:

    I suspect P George might find religion if the Police come knocking about his dodgy post…

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  31. Maggy Wassilieff (442 comments) says:

    @ All_on_Red….willing to join a “Free P. George” club if he goes to the clinker?

    or how about we start a gold coin koha jar for his lawyer fees?

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  32. All_on_Red (1,643 comments) says:

    Sorry Maggy, but no. I think it was an idiotic thing to do, and completely unnecessary. I really don’t know what he was trying to achieve. He can reap what he sows.

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  33. Maggy Wassilieff (442 comments) says:

    Galations 6:7 may not be the first choice of bible reading for a fellow atheist.

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  34. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Is the “NZ Yearbook” no longer produced?
    I wasn’t aware that it had fallen by the wayside.
    It was pretty good (as far as I can remember).

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  35. Maggy Wassilieff (442 comments) says:

    @ Thor…. NZ Yearbook… no longer paper copy…still being produced by Stats Dept
    http://www.stats.govt.nz/tools_and_services/media-centre/additional-releases/yearbook2012-released-4-july-13.aspx

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  36. hj (7,060 comments) says:

    The business round table say the population has increased 32,000/yr and 5000 is immigration. When you take out NZ who move overseas 80% is immigration (non NZ citizens).
    Treasury and SWG say the policy of increased population appears to have backfired.

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