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NZ likely to hit 5 million by 2020: Stats

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/10/2016

New Zealand's population is likely to hit more than five million within a little over three years.

Statistics New Zealand is forecasting a rise to as many as 5.14 million people by 2020, and up to 5.51 million by 2025.

The figures released by statistician Liz MacPherson on Wednesday also forecast an increase in numbers and proportions of the population at older ages.

The number of people aged 65 and older could as much as double from 700,000 to 1.4 million by 2043 and reach more than two million by 2068.

"Population growth will slow as New Zealand's population ages and the gap between the number of births and deaths narrows," Ms MacPherson said.

"New Zealand's population has a 90 per cent probability of increasing to 5.29-6.58 million in 2043, and to 5.30-7.88 million in 2068."

New Zealand First says it's time for the government to put together a population policy.

"This country needs to target a rate of population growth, to meet our needs but not cause growth pains," NZ First housing spokesman Denis O'Rourke said.

"Just imagine the pressure on housing, hospitals, education and social welfare."

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