As of the last official census conducted in 2018, the population was 9063, which was a great increase compared to the previous census in 2013, where there was a population of 8340. As of June 2022, an estimation of the population of the island is 9390 people with most of them living close to the western end of the island, or near the midpoint between Haruhi bay and Oneroa Bay. The settlements of Oneroa and Blackpool make up the settlements that are considered the farthest west on the island and are followed by Ostend and Palmbeach.
Waiheke is a popular tourist destination, and many people domestically and board attend the island's activities during the holidays. It is most popular during the summer season, which is Christmas and Easter in the southern hemisphere. The population of the island increases substantially because of the holidays, as families reunite and private homeowners rent out their lodgings to accommodate the many people that flock to the island. Waiheke island is considered to be a great place for corporate events, as dance parties at vineyards and restaurants are extremely sought-after reservations, particularly during the Jazz and Wine festival.
Pakeha-Maori relations are supportive of each other by New Zealand standards. The local land is on ancestral Maori land which had initially been promised to be set aside for a Maori reserve. It was returned to Ngati Paoa but remains largely owned by the state under the Waiheke County Council. Representatives from both the Maori and the pakeha populations were brought together to arrange a long-term lease of the council-owned land to build their marae. The earliest Maori claim to the land was by the Waiheke citizens.
Waiheke Island is considered the second largest island after the Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf, fully owned by the country of New Zealand. The terminal in Matiatia Bay is located at the western end and is about 21km away from the central-city terminal, which is situated in the city of Auckland. Waiheke island is the most populated island in the Gulf. The population of nearly 9400 residents grows by another 3400 citizens during the summer season when private owners have purchased second homes or holiday homes in the area. Because of the size and influx of the population, it is considered New Zealand's most densely populated island. After the principal North and South Islands, Waiheke is the most populated island.
Waiheke is considered New Zealand's 'Island of Wine", which is home to a very dedicated group of winegrowers who have matched the climate of the Maritimes and soil structures to carefully construct a selection of classical grape varieties which have a distinctive character. The climate of the island makes it easy to grow Bordeaux grape types, but certain grape farmers still find Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varieties to be well-suited to the growing conditions on the island.