New Zealand

Country Summary

2023 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in the late 1200s. In 1840, their chieftains signed the Treaty of Waitangi with Great Britain, ceding sovereignty while retaining territorial rights. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907.

Geography

Area

total: 268,838 sq km
land: 264,537 sq km
water: 4,301 sq km

Climate

temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Natural resources

natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

People and Society

Population

total: 5,161,211
male: 2,584,607
female: 2,576,604 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

European 64.1%, Maori 16.5%, Chinese 4.9%, Indian 4.7%, Samoan 3.9%, Tongan 1.8%, Cook Islands Maori 1.7%, English 1.5%, Filipino 1.5%, New Zealander 1%, other 13.7% (2018 est.)

Languages

English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%, Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) 0.5%, other or not stated 17.2% (2018 est.)

Religions

Christian 37.3% (Catholic 10.1%, Anglican 6.8%, Presbyterian and Congregational 5.2%, Pentecostal 1.8%, Methodist 1.6%, Church of Jesus Christ 1.2%, other 10.7%), Hindu 2.7%, Maori 1.3%, Muslim, 1.3%, Buddhist 1.1%, other religion 1.6% (includes Judaism, Spiritualism and New Age religions, Baha'i, Asian religions other than Buddhism), no religion 48.6%, objected to answering 6.7% (2018 est.)

Population growth rate

0.95% (2024 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Capital

name: Wellington

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor-General Dame Cindy KIRO (since 21 October 2021)
head of government: Prime Minister Christopher LUXON (since 27 November 2023)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (121 seats for 2023-26 term); 72 members directly elected in 65 single-seat constituencies and 7 Maori constituencies by simple majority vote and 49 directly elected by closed party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 3-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

high-income, globally integrated Pacific island economy; strong agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism sectors; reliant on Chinese market for exports; slow recovery from post-COVID recession and inflation; challenges of fiscal deficits, below-average productivity, and curbing greenhouse gas emissions

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$231.534 billion (2022 est.)
$225.116 billion (2021 est.)
$214.054 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$45,200 (2022 est.)
$44,000 (2021 est.)
$42,100 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, beef, kiwifruit, apples, grapes, lamb/mutton, potatoes, wheat, barley, onions (2022)

Industries

agriculture, forestry, fishing, logs and wood articles, manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, real estate services, tourism

Exports

$57.485 billion (2022 est.)
$54.923 billion (2021 est.)
$50.173 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

China 28%, Australia 11%, US 11%, Japan 6%, South Korea 4% (2022)

Exports - commodities

milk, beef, wood, sheep and goat meat, butter (2022)

Imports

$71.35 billion (2022 est.)
$62.984 billion (2021 est.)
$48.118 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 21%, Australia 14%, US 8%, South Korea 7%, Singapore 6% (2022)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, plastic products, garments, trucks (2022)

Exchange rates

New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
1.577 (2022 est.)
1.414 (2021 est.)
1.542 (2020 est.)
1.518 (2019 est.)
1.445 (2018 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2024