The NZ Initiative 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.