Chang­ing times

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - THROUGH THE YEARS -

Our coun­try has changed be­yond mea­sure over the past 100 years, but some­body has to try. New fig­ures from Sta­tis­tics New Zealand’s

re­veal vast de­mo­graphic and eco­nomic changes be­tween the cen­sus of 1911 and the cen­sus of 2013.

Some of the changes seem ob­vi­ous: Our pop­u­la­tion in­creased by about 300 per cent, from just over 1 mil­lion in 1911 to 4.2 mil­lion in 2013.

Oth­ers are more sur­pris­ing: the Maori pop­u­la­tion in­creased from about 50,000 in 1911 to nearly 600,000 in 2013, an in­crease of 1000 per cent – although dif­fer­ing mea­sures of the Maori pop­u­la­tion have been em­ployed over the cen­tury.

Our pro­por­tion of over­seas im­mi­grants has dropped slightly: 28.8 per cent of those ques­tioned in 1911 were born over­seas, com­pared to 26.9 per cent in 2013.

De­spite a dra­matic drop in home own­er­ship from the 1950s, the num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in each home has steadily fallen. In 1911, there was an av­er­age of 4.7 res­i­dents in each home, while in 2013 there was an av­er­age of 2.7.

This fig­ure makes a lot of sense – while our pop­u­la­tion has

Things in New Zealand were in­cred­i­bly dif­fer­ent in 1913.

We still had an up­per house of Par­lia­ment, the Chi­nese were charged a poll tax, and while women could vote, they could not stand as MPs.

Our cur­rency was non-dec­i­mal: 12 pence (d) made up a shilling, then 20 shillings made up a pound. You could buy a loaf of bread for just un­der 5d in 1915.

A pound of jam (450 grams) to go on that bread would set you back an av­er­age of 5.13d in Auck­land, 5.34d in Welling­ton, and 6.08d in Christchurch.

A pound of cheese would cost you an av­er­age of 10.02d in Auck­land, 10.18d in Welling­ton, and 10.41d in Christchurch.

A quart of milk to drink with your feast – just over a litre – would run you just 4d in Auck­land and Christchurch, but an av­er­age of 4.4d in Welling­ton. quadru­pled, the num­ber of dwellings has in­creased by seven times, from about 238,000 to more than 1.5 mil­lion. Al­most half of all pri­vate dwellings were rented in 1916 (the first time the data was col­lected), while 31.2 per cent of dwellings were rented in 2013.

The North Is­land saw much more pop­u­la­tion growth than the South Is­land.

Af­ter its peak dur­ing the gold rush of 1860s – when al­most two thirds of the set­tler pop­u­la­tion lived there – the South Is­land’s share of the pop­u­la­tion has steadily de­creased, with only one quar­ter of New Zealan­ders call­ing it their home in 2013.

Mean­while, health care ad­vances have led to a much older pop­u­la­tion.

In 1911, about a third of Ki­wis were aged un­der 15, with just over 5 per cent aged over 65.

In 2013 un­der-15s made up just one in five of the pop­u­la­tion, while about 15 per cent were over 65.


Pic­ton’s new wharf in 1913. New Zealand has changed im­mea­sur­ably since the 1913 cen­sus.

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