Waikato Vital Signs Region

Estimated population (2018):  430,170

Projected population change (2018-2028):  +9.7 %

Median personal income:  $30,825

Population changes

There is a substantial increase expected in the number of elderly in the Waikato Vital Signs Region, with the population group aged 65 years or more likely to increase by over 40 per cent between 2018 and 2028

At the same time, all other age groups combined are estimated to increase by only 5 per cent. During this time the Asian and Pasifika population groups will see the most growth, followed by the Maaori population. In comparison, the European/Other population group is likely to see very little to no growth.


  • 62 per cent of the surveyed population in the Waikato Region experienced a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood.
  • There has been a decline in the proportion of people who believe the public has an influence on the decisions of their council, and therefore perceived community engagement, across the region.
  • Just over 23 per cent of the Waikato Vital Signs Region’s population in 2018 is Maaori, much higher than the national average of 16.5 per cent.
  • 52 per cent of people in the Waikato Vital Signs Region live in owned or partly owned residences in 2018. The proportion of people who live in houses they own or partly own has increased across all districts since 2013.
  • Income inequality has increased slightly in the Waikato Region over the 2007-2017 period.
  • The Waikato Region ranks third in New Zealand for the worst rate of child abuse in New Zealand, with 355 per 10,000 children/young people having a report of concern for abuse or neglect that required further action.
Measure 2018 (estimated)
Children & youth (0-24) 34%
Prime working age (25-64) 50%
Older people (65+) 16%
Māori 23%
Pacific Peoples 5%
European 74%
Asian 10%
Middle Eastern/Latin American/African 1%
Other ethnicity 1%
Te Reo Māori speakers 6%
Own their own home 52%
Live in high deprivation 26%
Households with no motor vehicles 5%
No qualifications 21%
Level 1-5 Certificate/Diploma 59%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 20%
Involved in unpaid caring and volunteer work 27%
Experience a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood 62% (Waikato Region)
Unemployed 7%

Information source

All information is sourced from the Waikato Vital Signs Consultancy Report, January 2020, written by the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) at the University of Waikato.

Drawing comparisons

In 2016, the pilot Waikato Vital Signs Region covered just three council areas – Waikato District, Matamata-Piako District and Hamilton City. Waikato Vital Signs 2020 includes nine districts, and for some indicators there have been changes in the data source or methodology, therefore, overall findings for some indicators are not directly comparable between the 2016 and 2020 reports.

Ethnicity distribution

People may identify with, and therefore be counted in, more than one ethnic group, so overall percentage totals can add up to more than 100.