Hamilton City

Estimated population (2018):  165,900

Projected population change (2018-2028):  +16.6%

Median personal income:  $30,175

Population changes

Hamilton City is the biggest district in the Waikato Vital Signs Region, accounting for 39 per cent of the population.

 Over the next decade Hamilton has the highest estimated growth in population in the whole region, including a projected increase in the population of children and youth (under 25 years old). Like other districts, the population aged 65 years or more is likely to increase significantly over the same time period.

 The Pasifika population is likely to see the most growth between 2018 and 2028, followed by the Asian and Māori population groups. In comparison, the European/Other population group is likely to see a much smaller amount of growth


  • Hamilton has the highest rate of crime victimisations in the year ending June 2019, with 612 reported per 10,000 population.

  • 52 per cent of people in Hamilton feel a sense of pride in the way their city looks and feels. This has decreased from 60 per cent in 2016.

  • In 2018, 48 per cent of the population experienced a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood, the lowest proportion in the Waikato Vital Signs Region.

  • There has been a decline in perceived community engagement, with 30 per cent of people believing that the public has some or a large influence on the decisions of council, down from 45 per cent in 2016. Voter turnout in the 2016 local authority elections saw 34 per cent of enrolled electors casting a vote.

  • Hamilton has the lowest rate of home ownership out of all the districts, with the high student population and younger age profile of the city both contributing factors.

  • Hamilton has one of the highest rates of early childhood education (ECE) participation in the Waikato Region, with 98 per cent of children regularly attending ECE in the six months prior to starting school.

Measure 2018 (estimated)
Children & youth (0-24) 38%
Prime working age (25-64) 51%
Older people (65+) 12%
Māori 24%
Pacific Peoples 6%
European 64%
Asian 19%
Middle Eastern/Latin American/African 2%
Other ethnicity 1%
Te Reo Māori speakers 6%
Own their own home 43%
Live in high deprivation 31%
Households with no motor vehicles 7%
No qualifications 17%
Level 1-5 Certificate/Diploma 56%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 27%
Involved in unpaid caring and volunteer work 25%
Experience a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood 48%
Unemployed 8%

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.