IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Demographic Forces Shaping New Zealand’s Future. What Population Ageing [really] Means



This paper outlines the key demographic forces shaping New Zealand’s future. It ranges broadly across birth rates, life expectancy and migration to show how this converging demography will result in a regionally-disparate future. It identifies a migration-driven bite in New Zealand’s age structure across the young adult ages that is pronounced in non-urban areas, and argues that while rural regions have long lost young adults and sun-belt regions gained older, what differs is that this phenomenon is now occurring alongside population ageing, rendering such age structures no longer conducive to growth. The converging trends will not only make responding to baby boomer retirement more difficult but will increase competition for workers and push up labour and consumption costs. With the exception of larger urban areas and some retirement zones, it shows that sub national growth in much of New Zealand has already ended and that this scenario will continue to unfold until zero growth or population decline embraces all but the major urban areas. This is despite a national growth rate which is currently near equal the annual global growth rate. The paper posits that it is time to re-evaluate the question ‘when does population growth ‘end’?’

Suggested Citation

  • Natalie Jackson, 2011. "The Demographic Forces Shaping New Zealand’s Future. What Population Ageing [really] Means," NIDEA Working Papers wp-1, University of Waikato, National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:nidaea:wp-1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Natalie Jackson, 2012. "Maori and the [potential] Demographic Dividend," NIDEA Working Papers wp-2, University of Waikato, National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis.
    2. Alimi, Omoniyi & Maré, Dave C. & Poot, Jacques, 2017. "More Pensioners, Less Income Inequality? The Impact of Changing Age Composition on Inequality in Big Cities and Elsewhere," IZA Discussion Papers 10690, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Omoniyi B Alimi & David C Maré & Jacques Poot, 2017. "More pensioners, less income inequality?," Working Papers 17_02, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

    More about this item


    population growth; population ageing; sub-national area;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wai:nidaea:wp-1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Brian Silverstone). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.