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The Wellington Region

Languages spoken

In the Wellington Region, Māori was the commonly spoken language after English in 2013.

The Wellington Region's language statistics show the proportion of the population that speaks and understands a language other than English. They are indicative of how culturally diverse a population is and the degree to which different ethnic groups and nationalities are retaining their language. Language statistics also provide an indicator for the monitoring of language education programs.

The Wellington Region's language data should be analysed in conjunction with Ethnicity statistics, Māori Descent, Country of Birth, and Religion statistics to assist in identifying specific cultural and ethnic groups in the area.

Derived from the Census question:

'In which language(s) could you have a conversation about a lot of everyday things?'.

Multi-response

Total population

Languages spoken - Summary
Wellington Region20132006Change
Languages spoken - summaryNumber% of total populationNorth Island %Number% of total populationNorth Island %2006 to 2013
English only343,35072.869.8334,61474.571.6+8,736
Māori only6180.10.26420.10.2-24
Māori and English11,8322.53.412,7682.83.8-936
Other language combinations81,60617.318.374,86216.717.1+6,744
No language (too young to talk)7,7491.61.68,6611.91.9-912
Not stated / included26,1605.66.717,4153.95.3+8,745

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings 2006 and 2013. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id , the population experts.

Languages spoken - Ranked by size
Wellington Region20132006Change
Languages spoken - multi-responseNumber% of total populationNorth Island %Number% of total populationNorth Island %2006 to 2013
English430,10791.389.3415,84892.690.4+14,259
Māori15,6183.34.115,7023.54.6-84
Samoan14,6913.12.514,5143.22.6+177
French8,9431.91.19,7352.21.3-792
German5,9551.30.85,9071.30.9+48
Hindi5,2621.11.93,6150.81.4+1,647
Yue4,9261.01.24,8931.11.3+33
Spanish4,1820.90.63,1860.70.6+996
Northern Chinese3,8220.81.42,8710.61.2+951
Tagalog3,7440.80.71,8060.40.4+1,938
New Zealand Sign Language3,5040.70.52,5680.60.6+936
Gujarati3,2280.70.53,2010.70.5+27
Semitic not further defined3,0420.61.22,9700.71.1+72
Dutch2,9070.60.53,1260.70.6-219
Afrikaans2,5770.50.71,7520.40.6+825
Japanese2,2410.50.42,3700.50.5-129
Italian1,6110.30.21,7340.40.2-123
Greek1,5300.30.11,7340.40.1-204
Malaysian1,4220.30.31,0890.20.2+333
Arabic1,4040.30.31,5630.30.3-159
Tokelauan1,3890.30.11,6140.40.1-225
Khmer1,3230.30.21,2300.30.2+93
Russian1,2180.30.21,1940.30.2+24
Tamil1,1670.20.29390.20.2+228
Tongan1,1340.20.91,1670.30.9-33
Assyrian8640.20.19690.20.1-105
Sinhala8520.20.17980.20.1+54
Korean8340.20.77230.20.7+111
Thai8070.20.27080.20.2+99
Cook Islands Māori7920.20.21,0320.20.3-240
Vietnamese7650.20.16300.10.1+135
Bahasa Indonesia7350.20.15940.10.1+141
Polish6600.10.17620.20.1-102
Panjabi6510.10.63510.10.3+300
Portuguese6120.10.14170.10.1+195
Fijian5970.10.25280.10.2+69
Serbo-Croatian5640.10.26210.10.2-57
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Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings 2006 and 2013. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id , the population experts.

Excludes languages with fewer than 6 people speaking them at home, or less than 0.1% of the total population.

Languages spoken - Totals
Wellington Region20132006Change
Languages spoken - totals - multi-responseNumber% of total populationNorth Island %Number% of total populationNorth Island %2006 to 2013
Not stated / included26,1605.66.717,4153.95.3+8,745
Total population471,315100.0100.0448,962100.0100.0+22,353
Total respondents445,15594.493.3431,54796.194.7+13,608
Total responses583,365123.8123.8550,149122.5123.0+33,216

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings 2006 and 2013. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id , the population experts.

Languages spoken, 2013
Languages spoken, 2013 Māori, North Island: 4.1% Samoan, North Island: 2.5% French, North Island: 1.1% German, North Island: 0.8% Hindi, North Island: 1.9% Yue, North Island: 1.2% Spanish, North Island: 0.6% Northern Chinese, North Island: 1.4% Tagalog, North Island: 0.7% New Zealand Sign Language, North Island: 0.5% Māori, Wellington Region: 3.3% Samoan, Wellington Region: 3.1% French, Wellington Region: 1.9% German, Wellington Region: 1.3% Hindi, Wellington Region: 1.1% Yue, Wellington Region: 1.0% Spanish, Wellington Region: 0.9% Northern Chinese, Wellington Region: 0.8% Tagalog, Wellington Region: 0.8% New Zealand Sign Language, Wellington Region: 0.7%
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 2013
Compiled and presented by .id, the population experts.
Change in languages spoken, 2006 to 2013
Change in languages spoken, 2006 to 2013 Māori, Wellington Region: -84 Samoan, Wellington Region: +177 French, Wellington Region: -792 German, Wellington Region: +48 Hindi, Wellington Region: +1,647 Yue, Wellington Region: +33 Spanish, Wellington Region: +996 Northern Chinese, Wellington Region: +951 Tagalog, Wellington Region: +1,938 New Zealand Sign Language, Wellington Region: +936
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2013
Compiled and presented by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the language spoken by the population of the Wellington Region in 2013 compared to the North Island shows that there was a larger proportion of people who spoke English only, and a smaller proportion of those who spoke Māori, or Māori and English.

Overall, 72.8% spoke English only and 2.6% spoke Māori, or Māori and English, compared with 69.8% and 3.6% respectively for the North Island.

The dominant language spoken at home, other than English, in the Wellington Region was Māori, with 3.3% of the population, or 15,618 people speaking this language at home.

There were no major differences between the Wellington Region and North Island in 2013.

Note: Percentages(%) are based on total population

Emerging groups

Between 2006 and 2013, the number of people who spoke Māori, or Māori and English decreased by 960 or 7.2%, and the number of people who spoke English only increased by 8,736 or 2.6%.

The largest changes in the spoken languages of the population in the Wellington Region between 2006 and 2013 were for those speaking:

  • Tagalog (+1,938 responses)
  • Hindi (+1,647 responses)
  • Spanish (+996 responses)
  • Northern Chinese (+951 responses)

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