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Wellington

Absolutely Positively

Wellington facts & figures

Wellington is New Zealand's centre of government and the world's southernmost capital city. It is also the country's cultural capital and the third most populous urban area in New Zealand.

The people

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About 449,000 people live in the Wellington region. This is 11.1% of New Zealand’s population.

The population mix consists of:

  • 70% European
  • 12.8% Maori
  • 8.1%  Pacific Island
  • 8.1% Asian
  • 1.3% Middle Eastern/Latin American/African
  • 11.7 % other (New Zealander)

* Note: Total of more than 100% due to people being able to associate with more than one ethnic group.

Source: Statistics New Zealand.

Workforce and wealth

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In the Mercer 2014 International Quality of Living Survey, Wellington ranked the 12th out of 221 world cities for quality of living.

  • The most common occupational group in Wellington is 'Professionals'. 
  • Wellington region has the highest proportion of working age population and the highest median income in the country.
  • For people aged 15 years and over, the median income in Wellington Region is $28,000. This is higher than the median of $24,400 for all of New Zealand.
  • 23.6 percent of people aged 15 years and over have an annual income of more than $50,000, compared with 18.0 percent of people throughout New Zealand. (30.2% in Wellington city). 

Source: Statistics New Zealand.

Education

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  • Wellington’s talent pool of well educated, worldly and skilled people is its greatest asset. 
  • Wellington people are better educated than the average New Zealander.  46.3% of people aged 15 years and over in the Wellington Region have a post-school qualification, compared with 39.9% of people throughout New Zealand.
  • In 2008, 33 % of Wellingtonians worked in ICT, Architecture, Engineering, Science, Education, Arts Design, Media and Sports occupations.

Source: Statistics New Zealand.

Diverse Cultures

The Wellington region is home to many diverse cultures.  Statistics New Zealand estimates around 25% of people are born overseas. Its rich cultural scene makes it as exciting for singles as it is welcoming for families.

Housing

  • 55.1% of Wellingtonians own their own home.

Source: Statistics New Zealand.

Quality of life

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The Nielsen Quality of Life Survey was released on 22nd October 2014. This biennial survey measures the perceptions of over 5000 residents living in six of the country’s largest urban areas. 

  • 89% of Wellingtonians report a "good" or "better" quality of life, compared to the national average of 82%
  • 33% perceive their quality of life has increased in the last year, compared with the national average of 27%
  • 92% agree or strongly agree that Wellington is a great place to live
  • 89% of Wellingtonians have pride in the city's look and feel, 10% higher than the national average
  • 87% think that Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene
  • 80% of Wellingtonians feel satisfied or very satisfied with life in general – the highest in the country.

Weather and seasons

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Wellington has more sunshine hours than London and less rainfall than Auckland.  Wellington enjoys around 2,000 sunshine hours a year. By comparison London averages 1,500, Edinburgh 1,350 and Vancouver 1,850.

  • Warmest month: February (17°C average)
  • Coldest month:  July (8.7°C average)
  • Average daily maximum for mid-summer: 20.3°C
  • Average daily minimum for mid-winter: 5.9°C
  • Average annual sunshine: 2025 hours
  • Average annual rainfall: 1270mm

More information on Wellington’s weather

Source: Statistics New Zealand.

Access to the great outdoors

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  • Wellington region covers 813,005 hectares
  • It has a maritime area of 786,000 hectares and 497 kilometres of coastline
  • Almost  all Wellington region residents live within three kilometres of the coastline  
  • There are 102 playgrounds and parks in Wellington city alone 

Regional parks

  • Wellington has a diverse range of landscapes including 50,000 hectares of regional parks and forests and large back-country areas for hiking and camping managed by the Department of Conservation.  
  • The majority of regional park tracks are multi-use (ie pedestrians, cyclists, horses).
  • There is a total of 715km of tracks, which comprise 24% walks, 35% tramps, and 40% routes.
  • Other recreation facilities include camping, picnicking, toilets, on-park signs and information.
  • Some space is dedicated to exclusive use e.g. pony clubs, go kart track, rifle range, tram museum.

Table 1: Proportion of Public Open Space to Population: Wellington Region (2009)

  Wellington region
Population (2006 census) 448,956
Land area 813,000 ha
Public open space area (2009) 248,246 ha
Public open space / population 0,5530 ha per capita

Environment friendly transport

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More people use public transport in Wellington than anywhere else in New Zealand.

30% use public transport compared with:

  • 18% in Auckland
  • 9% in Christchurch
  • 10% in Australian and North American cities on average

About 23,000 people commute into Wellington City every working day.

Source : WCC 

11% of Wellingtonians walk to work.

More people in Wellington walk or bike to work than the average New Zealander.

There are regional initiatives to car pool and encourage cycling and walking to work.