Creating Futures

Waikato Projections - Demographic and Economic

There is a need for consistent and defendable future projections of demographic and economic indicators by the territorial authories in the Waikato to assist in their long term planning. Results have previously been available at the District level through a range of modelling/assessment approaches.

The objective of this work was to provide consistent outputs across the region for the key indicators (Land use, Population, Households, Workforce, Employment, Value Added) down to a statistical area level 2 (SA2) scale.


Planned Update for 2018 Waikato Projections

Work is underway to update the Waikato Projections to 2018-2063 based on the outputs from the 2018 census.  census are planned for completion in 2020 pending the release of required data from 2018 census by Stats NZ.

Follow progress on this update on the Working Group Page.

The modelling to create SA2 level projections will follow the same methodology used in the 2013 projections as outlined below.


2013 Waikato Projections

Access Data or View Results

Download Reports with methodologies and results

This work was to provide outputs for the key indicators down to a census area unit (CAU) level (now termed SA2). Initial work on this projection approach was started in 2015. The results presented here are from the latest round of modelling completed in late 2016. The final outputs for this work provide data at a CAU level for the timeframes 2013, 2021, 2031, 2041,  2051, and 2061. The folllowing indicator outputs are modelled by CAU:


These indicators are generated using three different modelling processes (Figure 1). The WISE model is used to generate projections of future land use by CAU. This land use information is then used in two other modelling processes (Demographics by University of Waikato, Economics by Market Economics Ltd) to provide the other indicators at a CAU level.


Figure 1: Process for development of CAU level projections - links between three modelling work streams


The strength of this approach is that the key known drivers of future land use change (projected TA population growth, District plan zoning, planned infrastructure, geophysical suitability etc) are all used in projecting future land use change in WISE. This land use information can then be used to directly influence the allocation of population and associated economic activity at a CAU level through additioanl modelling. See reports below for further information on modelling processes.


Projected changes in CAU level indicators

The TA Level population projection developed by University of Waikato in 2016 provides the broader picture for population change where some districts (Hamilton, Waikato, Waipa) see signficant growth, whilst other are projected to decline (Waitomo, South Waikato).  The modelling in this case study then spatially reallocates the TA level population projections down to the CAU level. The results show a variety of changes arcoss the region (Figure 2) wiht high growth CAU areas north and east of Hamilton having very high increases in population whilst CAUs in Waitomo , Eastern Taupo and Northern Coromandel are projected to decline.


Figure 2: Animation of changes in CAU populations from 2013-2063


The household and labourforce projection show very similar trends to population. The other key facts and messages about population projections are summaried in this document.

The link between economic indicators and population is not as direct as for example the growth of commercial activity and employment will not necesarily follow population growth in a specific CAU. These factors are taken into account in the CAU level modeling approch used for these indicators.