Estimated Māori population in New Zealand
1991–2020, thousands of people
All population estimates at 30 June 2018 and beyond use the 2018-base ERP.
Māori ethnic population is the population who identify themselves with the Māori ethnicity with or without other ethnicities.
Because ethnicity is self-perceived, people can identify with Māori ethnicity even though they are not descended from a Māori ancestor. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with Māori ethnicity even though they are descended from a Māori ancestor. It is a measure of cultural affiliation (in contrast to race, ancestry, nationality, or citizenship).
Māori population estimates are obtained by updating the base population of the Māori ethnic group for births, deaths, estimated net migration, and estimated inter-ethnic mobility during the ensuing period.
The estimated resident population of the Māori ethnic group is based on the census usually resident population count of the Māori ethnic group with adjustments for Māori residents missed or counted more than once by the census (net census undercount), for Māori residents temporarily overseas on census night and for non-response to the census ethnicity question.
The estimates refer to the mean value for the specified calendar year.
For more information
Limitations of the data
The accuracy of the estimates depends on the accuracy of the estimated base and change in numbers. The accuracy of the base depends on the accuracy of the census and the estimated adjustments made to the base.
Changes to data collection/processing
2020 has seen atypical migration patterns, with record high net migration in March 2020 followed by very low levels of net migration due to COVID-19-related border closures. The current method used to estimate provisional Māori migration for periods up to 17 months ago is not able to take account of these changed migration patterns. A different method is required so that the Māori population estimates reflect what is currently happening.
The change to the method for estimating provisional Māori migration is based on actual migration data linked to ethnicity data from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). This provides a more accurate estimate of how Māori population is changing.
The change in method affects quarters from 1 January 2020. There is no change to the method used for earlier periods, either the finalised period or the October 2019 provisional quarter, as this was pre COVID-19 border closure migration pattern impacts.
Stats NZ expect that the provisional Māori migration method outlined on this page will be used until New Zealand’s border restrictions are lifted.
Data provided by
Estimates and Projections: Māori population estimates mean year ended 31 December 2020 v2
How to find the data
At URL provided, select 'Population > Population Estimates - DPE > Maori Ethnic Group Estimated Resident Population by Age and Sex (1991+) (Annual-Dec)'. All variables were selected to create this dataset.
Import & extraction details
From the dataset Estimates and Projections: Māori population estimates mean year ended 31 December 2020 v2, this data was extracted:
- Rows: 4-33
- Columns: 2-775
- Provided: 11,610 data points
This data forms the table Population - Māori estimated resident population by age group 1991–2020.
Dataset originally released on:
May 18, 2021