Commonly requested facts, statistics and figures about Christchurch City.


  • Archaeological evidence suggests Christchurch was first settled by moa-hunting tribes as early as AD 1000.
  • The Maori name for Christchurch is Ōtautahi. The name is derived from a Ngai Tahu chief, Tautahi, who along with his people, had settlements on the riverbanks of the Ōtākaro-Avon River.
  • Planning of the Christchurch settlement began in England in the late 1840s, named after the college at Oxford University that key founder John Godley attended. It was planned as a model Anglican church settlement, intending to replicate a typical English community. It was established as a colony in 1850.
  • Christchurch became New Zealand’s first city by Royal Charter in 1856.



  • Christchurch city's most recent population estimate was 396,200, at June 2023.
  • The 2010/2011 earthquakes resulted in a net loss of around 21,000 people, but by 2017 the city's population had recovered to pre-earthquake levels.
  • Projections suggest that by 2033 the population is likely to be around 414,000 under a medium-growth scenario. However, it could range anywhere between 384,000 and 445,000.
  • By 2048, the city's population is expected to be around 448,000 (but could range anywhere between 384,000 and 514,000).

Population estimates and projections for Christchurch City, (2018-base)

Surrounding districts

  • Neighbouring Selwyn and Waimakariri districts had an estimated combined population of 150,300 at June 2023.
  • Longer term, under a medium growth scenario, the population is expected to be around 177,000 by 2033 and around 208,000 by 2048.

Population estimates and projections for Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts, (2018-base)


Life-cycle age groups

  • The city's estimated median age was 36.9 years in 2018.
  • The number of older people aged 65 years and over is expected to increase by 56% between 2018 and 2048 (from 56,600 to 88,300). As a proportion of the city's population, this age group will likely increase from 15% to 20% between 2018 and 2048.
  • The number of people aged under 15 years is expected to slightly decrease between 2018 and 2048, falling from 65,100 to 61,700. As a proportion of the city's population, this age group will likely decrease from 17% to 14%.

Age group estimates and projections, (2018-base)

Cultural diversity

Ethnic groups

  • In 2018, 12% of the city's population indicated they had Māori descent (42,500 people).
  • Of these, 29% identified as belonging to Ngāi Tahu (12,400 people).
  • The most common ethnicities in the city that people identified as were European (78%), Asian (15%), Māori (10%), Pacific Peoples (3.8%), and Middle Eastern/Latin American/African (1.5 %).

Ethnicity, 2018

Note: Includes all people who stated each ethnic group, whether as their only ethnic group or as one of several. Where a person reported more than one ethnic group, they have been counted in each applicable group. As a result percentages do not add up to 100. The vast majority of people counted in 'Other Ethnicity' recorded ''New Zealander'' on their census form.


  • In 2018, 27% of the city's residents were born overseas.
  • Of the residents who were born overseas, almost half came from four countries: 17% were born in England, 10% in the Philippines, 10% in China and 7% were born in India.

Birth region, 2018


  • 43% of residents are affiliated with at least one religion.
  • The most common religions were Christian (36%), Hinduism (1.8%) and Islam (1.1%).


Business and employment

  •  At February 2023, around 46,500 businesses employed 233,300 people.
  • The largest industry by number of businesses is Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, which makes up 21% of all Christchurch businesses.
  • The top five industries by number of employees were:   
    1. Health Care and Social Assistance (31,900 employees)
    2. Retail Trade (23,300 employees)
    3. Manufacturing (22,100 employees)
    4. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (21,800 employees)
    5. Construction (21,500 employees)

Employment by sector, 2022

Gross domestic product (GDP)

  • The city had a GDP of $31 billion in the year to December 2022. This was an increase of $1.3 billion (4.2%) from 2021. 
  • One third of the city's GDP was generated by three industries in 2019 (when breakdowns were last published): Manufacturing (12%); Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (11%); and Construction (11%).

Gross Domestic Product contribution by industry, 2019


  • There was a total estimated spending of $6.45 billion in Christchurch City for 2022 (excludes cash and online transactions).
    • 72% of this spending was made by Christchurch residents.
    • 13% was made by Selwyn District and Waimakariri District residents.
    • 12% was made from residents living elsewhere in New Zealand.
    • 3% was made by international card holders. 

Electronic card spending in Christchurch City

Land area

Zoned land

Christchurch City has around 141,550 hectares of land area, based on Statistics New Zealand's geographic boundaries.

  • Around 70% of the city's zoned land is located in Banks Peninsula.
  • In terms of land use, 8% is zoned as residential, 92% is non-residential, and 0.01% is zoned as mixed-use.

Zoned land, at October 2023

Income and deprivation


  • In 2019, the city's median equivalised household income was $62,300.
    • The bottom 20% of households had a median income of $32,300.
    • The top 20% of households had a median income of $105,700.
  • In 2018, 23% of our residents lived in areas with the lowest socioeconomic deprivation scores (deciles 1 and 2) and 14% lived in areas with the highest deprivation scores (deciles 9 and 10).
  • In general, areas on or near the Port Hills had the lowest levels of socio-economic deprivation. Pockets of low-level deprivation were also found in the inner north-west suburbs, and in some of the newer developments on the outskirts of the city.
  • In general, eastern areas of the city had the highest levels of socio-economic deprivation. Other pockets were distributed throughout the city.

Deprivation Index, 2018

The 2018 deprivation index(external link)(external link) was developed by researchers at the University of Otago, and combines nine variables from the 2018 census which reflect dimensions of socio-economic deprivation. NZDep2018 provides a deprivation score for each meshblock in New Zealand (a meshblock is generally the size of a street block in urban areas, containing approximately 30-60 dwellings). Deprivation scores apply to areas rather than individual people.



  • In 2018, there were an estimated 148,000 households in Christchurch city. Almost 70% of these were family households and nearly one quarter were one-person households.
  • Projections suggest the total number of households will likely increase to around 167,200 by 2033 (medium series), and 176,400 households by 2043.
  • In 2018, the city's average household size was estimated to be 2.5 people per household.

Housing development

  • Building consents were issued for 4420 new dwellings and units for the year ending June 2023.
    • Of these, 3740 were for additional dwellings and units to the city's housing stock (net new housing).
    • The remaining 680 were replacing dwellings which had been demolished.

Net new housing, 2022

New housing refers to additional housing added to the city's current housing stock. It excludes replacement housing (i.e. when a dwelling is demolished and replaced with a single dwelling).

Housing costs

  • The median house sale price for Christchurch City was $660,000 in April 2023. House prices in the city peaked in late 2021 / early 2022.
  • The median dwelling rent in Christchurch was $519 in the December 2022 quarter. This was an increase of 9% since the same period in 2021 and 23% since the same period in 2020.

Median house sale price in Christchurch City


Number of motor vehicles

  • In 2018, 7% of Christchurch households did not have a motor vehicle.
  • 74% of Christchurch households had one or two motor vehicles.

Travel to work

  • In 2018, the most common modes of transport to work were: by private car, truck or van (62%); company car, truck or van (11%); and bicycle (6%). Around 9% of Christchurch residents usually worked from home. 

Travel to work (usual means), 2018

  • In 2018, 12,000 Selwyn District residents and 9,000 Waimakariri District residents usually travelled to Christchurch City for work.

Travel to Christchurch for work, 2018

Central City progress

Information about how we're going at delivering our goals of a prosperous, vibrant, liveable central Christchurch can be found on our tracking the progress of our Central City page.

Topics include population, business and employment, spending data, visitor activity and perceptions around the central city.

Commercial centre factsheets

These fact sheets contain a range of indicators to track the progress of each centre.

Data definitions and information

Further information

  • Comprehensive information for Christchurch City and its suburbs are available on Statistics New Zealand’s 2018 Census Place Summaries(external link) page. Topics include population, ethnicity, religion, health, employment, income, education, and housing.
  • Information about census variables used in these profiles, including definitions and data quality ratings, can be found at Stats NZ(external link).

Request stats, facts and information

Terms of use

  • Christchurch City refers to the area governed by the Christchurch City Council.
  • These pages complement the information found within the Council's Community Outcomes programme, which measures progress towards achieving the strategic directions of the organisation.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in processing, analysing and reporting the information provided in these web pages and reports. However, the Christchurch City Council gives no warranty that the information in these web pages and reports contains no errors.
  • The Council shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered consequent upon the use directly, or indirectly, of the information supplied in this publication.