Northland’s projected population for 2010 was 157,420, 3.6% of New Zealand’s population. Just over half live within the Whangarei District Council area, 37% live within the Far North District Council area and 12% live within the Kaipara District Council area.
Nga Iwi o Te Tai Tokerau comprises 30% of Northland’s population. Out of the total Maori population, about half live in the Far North District, 40% in Whangarei, and 10% in Kaipara. Iwi in Northland include Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngaitatoko, Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu, Whaingaroa, Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Whatua.
Northland’s population is ‘ageing’ because the number of children is decreasing while the older population is increasing significantly. The child population (0-14 years), is projected to drop from 21.8% in 2011 to 19.6% by 2026. Northland’s older population (65+ years) is projected to grow from 16.3% to 24.7% over the same period.
Northland not only has a higher proportion of older people than the national average, but it is projected to grow at a faster rate.
Northland has one of the most deprived populations in the country. While 20% of New Zealand’s population is in the lowest quintile of the deprivation index, the equivalent measure for Northland is 35%.
The most deprived local authority area is the Far North District Council with 51% of the population in the lowest quintile; within this district the most deprived areas are Hokianga 83%, Whangaroa 41% and north of the Mangamukas 55%.
The only true urban area in Northland is Whangarei, which contains about one-third of the region’s population. Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Kaikohe and Dargaville are rural centres with populations of about five thousand each. The Northland population is distributed across a region which takes over five hours to travel from its northern to southern extremities and up to two hours west to east. Northland has the highest proportion of unsealed roads in New Zealand and public transport is very limited.