Wellington Population 2021

416,828
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Wellington's 2021 population is now estimated at 416,828. In 1950, the population of Wellington was 132,654. Wellington has grown by 2,010 since 2015, which represents a 0.48% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Wellington, which typically includes Wellington's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban region of New Zealand. It is actually comprised of 4 cities: Wellington city located between Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour with about 50% of the population; Porirua on Porirua Harbour; Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt to the northeast. In 2018, Wellington has a population estimated at 418,500, growing slightly from the 397,000 estimated in 2013.

Population Density of Wellington

The urban area has a fairly low population density of 2,300 people per square mile, or 900 per square kilometer. The larger metropolitan area has a population of about 403,000, with a density of 750 people per square mile (290/square kilometer). The urban area has 99% of the population, with the remaining areas being mostly sparse farmland and mountains.

City Size

The city of Wellington covers a surface area of approximately 442 km2 (171 sq mi). The metro area expands outward to a total of 1,388 km2 (536 sq mi).

Communities

Wellington city contains both the business district and nearly half of Wellington's population. Porirua, meanwhile, is known for the large Pacific Island and Maori communities. The population breakdown of the four cities, according to the 2006 census, was:

  • Wellington: 179,000
  • Lower Hutt: 98,000
  • Upper Hutt: 38,000
  • Porirua: 49,000

Interestingly, Wellington is the southernmost capital city of any country in the world. The city was also ranked as the 4th among the Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2011 by Lonely Planet, which called it the "coolest little capital in the world."

Wellington Population Demographics

Wellington has a sizable Maori ethnic population with about 55,500 Maori living in Wellington, up more than 8% from 2001. The Maori population of Wellington is the 4th largest out of 16 New Zealand regions, and 10% of all Maori in the country live in the Wellington area.

Wellington is second only to Auckland in terms of its ethnic variety. In 2006, the area had the second-highest Asian population in the country at 8.4% (Auckland: 18.9%), and the second-highest Pacific Islander population at 8% (Auckland: 14.4%). More than 26% of Wellingtonians were born outside of the country. In 2013, almost 73% of the population identified as European in Wellington City.

Wellington also has a higher-than-average percentage of residents with a degree (21%), and the highest number of households that do not have a car at 11%.

Wellington Population Growth

Wellington is expected to continue steady growth over the next decade, although growth is picking up in Wairarapa as population growth slows in the Wellington area. Between 2006 and 2011 , Wellington City alone increased by more than 10,000 people. The region is expected to grow by more than 13% by 2031.

Wellington Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
2035462,3170.73%3,356
2034458,9610.75%3,412
2033455,5490.77%3,470
2032452,0790.78%3,521
2031448,5580.80%3,565
2030444,9930.81%3,593
2029441,4000.82%3,596
2028437,8040.82%3,550
2027434,2540.80%3,450
2026430,8040.77%3,288
2025427,5160.72%3,075
2024424,4410.67%2,817
2023421,6240.61%2,537
2022419,0870.54%2,259
2021416,8280.48%2,010
2020414,8180.44%1,806
2019413,0120.41%1,666
2018411,3460.78%3,181
2017408,1650.78%3,156
2016405,0090.78%3,132
2015401,8770.78%3,103
2014398,7740.78%3,079
2013395,6950.78%3,051
2012392,6440.78%3,036
2011389,6080.73%2,841
2010386,7670.73%2,821
2009383,9460.73%2,796
2008381,1500.74%2,783
2007378,3670.73%2,759
2006375,6081.18%4,377
2005371,2311.18%4,324
2004366,9071.18%4,286
2003362,6211.18%4,229
2002358,3921.18%4,181
2001354,2110.53%1,863
2000352,3480.53%1,853
1999350,4950.53%1,841
1998348,6540.53%1,830
1997346,8240.53%1,819
1996345,0051.18%4,015
1995340,9901.18%3,968
1994337,0221.18%3,923
1993333,0991.18%3,871
1992329,2281.18%3,837
1991325,3910.41%1,336
1990324,0550.05%158
1989323,8970.05%157
1988323,7400.05%158
1987323,5820.05%158
1986323,424-0.07%-221
1985323,645-0.12%-404
1984324,049-0.13%-406
1983324,455-0.12%-405
1982324,860-0.12%-406
1981325,266-0.12%-406
1980325,672-0.12%-407
1979326,079-0.12%-408
1978326,487-0.12%-407
1977326,894-0.12%-408
1976327,3024.21%13,223
1975314,0795.88%17,432
1974296,6475.88%16,465
1973280,1825.87%15,530
1972264,6525.88%14,708
1971249,9447.38%17,169
1970232,7757.95%17,137
1969215,6387.94%15,854
1968199,7847.96%14,727
1967185,0577.95%13,624
1966171,4333.78%6,249
1965165,1842.23%3,602
1964161,5822.24%3,534
1963158,0482.23%3,452
1962154,5962.23%3,376
1961151,2201.81%2,695
1960148,5251.71%2,503
1959146,0221.71%2,456
1958143,5661.71%2,416
1957141,1501.71%2,371
1956138,7790.92%1,271
1955137,5080.72%985
1954136,5230.72%978
1953135,5450.72%969
1952134,5760.72%965
1951133,6110.72%957
1950132,6540.00%

Wellington Population Data (Urban Area)

Other Cities in New Zealand

  1. Stats New Zealand - Wellington Region census statistics
  2. Wellington City Council - Profile of Wellington, including population forecasts
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources