Statistics NZ’s population estimates and business employee numbers data has just been updated for 2020 and here’s a quick summary of them in relation to Auckland and the city centre.
Plenty of milestones were reached in the latest population estimates. Auckland’s population has surpassed 1.7 million, a 2.2% increase and keeping growth in the region at a slightly higher rate than the rest of the country combined – however, a number of regions saw higher percentage growth with the Bay of Plenty having the highest rate of growth at 2.8%. NZ as a whole also passed the 5 million people mark and means that over a third (33.8%) of the entire country’s population lives in the region.
It’s also useful to look back over a slightly longer time period and so over the last decade our population has grown by 278,000 for an annual growth rate of 1.8%.
Though interestingly and somewhat unusually for Auckland, this growth is at the low end of what was projected.
Given that COVID is likely to keep immigration levels lower for some time, the low projection must surely now be the most likely scenario to play out over the coming decade.
Looking at the city centre, another milestone was reached with now more than 40,000 people living there. As you can see there has been a substantial and sustained growth in city centre population and means it is now about the size of Whanganui. This is one of the key reasons we need to be improving safety and amenity in the city centre.
Employment data is as of February so is perfectly timed to see how things were prior to COVID. Stats also now have 20 years worth of data. Within the Auckland region reached just 807,000 jobs, a 1% increase on 2019. That figure is also up nearly 200,000 on a decade ago, which was at its low point from the GFC, and up nearly 300,000 the year 2000.
Around 199,000 (25%) of those jobs are in the central area with 124,000 of those jobs (15%) in the city centre itself and a further almost 75,000 (9%) jobs in the city fringe. Job growth in the city and fringe has increased at a slightly faster rate than the region however the overall percentage has remained around 24% for most of the last two decades.
The city and fringe areas included in the numbers above are shown below
Only a quarter of the jobs in the region being in the central area might not seem like much, and it is small compared to many other cities, but it is still the single biggest employment area in the region. To put the employment numbers in perspective, the massive Onehunga – Penrose – Mt Wellington – Otahuhu commercial area combined has about 69,000 jobs, East Tamaki has about 38,000, Manukau around 36,000, Albany & North Harbour around 34,000 and the airport & industrial area to the north has 30,000. That’s a combined 206,000 jobs so almost identical to the central city.
As mentioned the percentage of jobs in the centre is low compared to other cities Even just compared to looking at Wellington, which has about 41% of all jobs in the region in and around its central city – an important contributor towards its comparatively higher level of public transport use.
Here’s how the total number in the city and fringe compares to those similar areas of Wellington and Christchurch – with the earthquake impact clearly being seen.