The North Canterbury region is home to 72,100 people (Statistics NZ 2017 population estimate). The large majority of these people live in the Waimakariri District (59,300 residents), with the remainder residing in the Hurunui District (12,800 residents).

The median age of North Canterbury residents is 42.9 years in the Waimakariri District and 43.6 years in the Hurunui District. The median age of New Zealand as a whole is 38 years. 

Culture & Ethnicity

The majority of North Canterbury residents identify themselves as European. Maori is the second largest ethnic group in the region, with just over 7% of the population identifying as Maori. Other ethnic groups identified in the North Canterbury region are Asian, Pacific peoples, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African; each represent less than 2% of the region’s population. Of those residents born overseas, the most common birthplace is England.

English is the most common spoken language in the region, followed by te reo Maori. New Zealand Sign Language is used by less than one percent of the North Canterbury population. This correlates with the nationwide percentage of NZSL users. 

Work & Qualifications

At last count, 75.7% of Waimakariri residents aged 15 and over held a formal qualification, and 96% of residents aged 15 and over were employed. Learn more about the Waimakariri’s skilled local work force here >>


Families in North Canterbury

There are over 14,500 families residing in the Waimakariri District. 42.3% of these comprise couples with children; 46.4% are couples without children; and 11.3% are families of one parent with children. The Hurunui District is home to just over 3,000 families. Over half of these are couples without children; 38.7% are couples with children; and 9.1% are single parent families.  Families in North Canterbury enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, abundant recreation activities and events, and the quality educational and healthcare facilities available here. 

North Canterbury Community Directory

If you are seeking community information, support or services, try the Waimakariri District Council's Community Directory page.


*All stats on this page, except for the 2017 population estimates, are from Census 2013 data.