FAQ about Māori Population

Q1. How many Māori people are there?

A1. StatsNZ estimated the Māori population to be 723,400 (at 30 June 2016).

New Zealand's 2013 National Census reported that 598,605 people belonged to the Māori ethnic group.

668,728 people reported that they were of Māori descent.

There were 128,430 Māori living in Australia in 2011 (a third of those were born in Australia). Approximately 6 percent of Māori living in Australia reported that they spoke Māori at home.

New Zealand's total population is estimated to be 4.7 million.

Q2. How Māori people were living in New Zealand during first European contact?

A2. Estimates suggest that up to 100,000 Māori were living in New Zealand in 1769. At that time there was no other ethnic group in residence.

Q3. When was the Māori population at its lowest number (post European contact)?

A3. In 1896 there were only 42,113 people of predominantly Māori descent.

Q4. Is the Māori population increasing?

A4. Yes, the Māori population is increasing and at a faster rate than the European (i.e. those of European descent only) population of New Zealand.

Q5. Where can I find further details on the Māori population?

A5. StatsNZ The Statistics New Zealand (formerly Department of Statistics) website is frequently updated, but still is very difficult to navigate.

Peter J Keegan's GitHub pages


NZ's National Census is undertaken every 5 years. The last census was undertaken in March 2013. The census due in March 2011 was cancelled due to the large after-shock (i.e., earthquake) in Christchurch in February 2011 which badly damaged many of the downtown buildings. Statistics NZ's Christchurch staff were severely disrupted by this tragedy.

The 2018 National Census was undertaken on Tuesday 6 March 2018.

Data from this census will be available in late 2018/early 2019

Page last updated 14 March 2018.

This page is Copyright © Peter J Keegan PhD, 2003-2018. All rights reserved.