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Greater Wellington Regional CouncilCommunity profile

Wellington Region

Languages spoken

In the Wellington Region, Māori was the commonly spoken language after English in 2018.

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.

Q:

Derived from the Census question:

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

Multi-response

Languages spoken - Summary
Wellington Region20182013Change
Languages spoken - SummaryNumber% of total populationNorth Island %Number% of total populationNorth Island %2013 to 2018
English only382,61475.572.7343,35072.869.8+39,264
Māori only5940.10.26180.10.2-24
Māori and English14,8322.94.011,8352.53.4+2,997
No language (too young to talk)10,7912.12.27,7491.61.6+3,042
Not stated / included------26,1605.66.7-26,160
Total population506,805100.0100.0471,315100.0100.0+35,490
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings 2013 and 2018. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id , the population experts.
Stats NZ data quality rating: High
Please refer to specific data notes for more information

Please note that in the 2018 Census, where data are not provided, responses are sourced from administrative datasets, in line with the procedures developed by Statistics New Zealand to supplement the 2018 dataset. Due to this, there is no "Not Stated / included" category in 2018, and users should use caution when comparing to earlier Census years.

Languages spoken - Ranked by size
Wellington Region20182013Change
Languages spoken - multi-responseNumber% of total populationNorth Island %Number% of total populationNorth Island %2013 to 2018
English486,94596.194.9430,10791.389.3+56,838
Māori 17,8863.54.615,6183.34.1+2,268
Samoan14,9132.92.614,6913.12.5+222
French10,2182.01.28,9431.91.1+1,275
German6,8071.30.85,9551.30.8+852
Northern Chinese6,5431.32.33,8220.81.4+2,721
Hindi6,2791.21.85,2651.11.9+1,014
Spanish5,9761.20.84,1790.90.6+1,797
Yue5,2951.01.34,9231.01.2+372
Tagalog4,7820.90.93,7440.80.7+1,038
Afrikaans3,6240.70.92,5770.50.7+1,047
Show all (127 entries)
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings 2013 and 2018. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id , the population experts.
Stats NZ data quality rating: High
Please refer to specific data notes for more information

Excludes languages with fewer than 12 people speaking them at home.

Languages spoken - Totals
Wellington Region20182013Change
Languages spoken - TotalsNumber% of total populationNorth Island %Number% of total populationNorth Island %2013 to 2018
Not stated / included------26,1605.66.7-26,160
Total population408,831100.0100.0471,315100.0100.0-62,484
Total respondents408,831100.0100.0445,15594.493.3-36,324
Total responses635,445155.4160.4583,365123.8123.8+52,080
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings 2013 and 2018. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id , the population experts.
Stats NZ data quality rating: High
Please refer to specific data notes for more information

Please note that in the 2018 Census, where data are not provided, responses are sourced from administrative datasets, in line with the procedures developed by Statistics New Zealand to supplement the 2018 dataset. Due to this, there is no "Not Stated / included" category in 2018, and users should use caution when comparing to earlier Census years.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the language spoken by the population of the Wellington Region in 2018 compared to 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, 75.5% spoke English only and 3.0% spoke Māori, or Māori and English, compared with 72.7% and 4.2% respectively for North Island.

The dominant language spoken at home, other than English, in the Wellington Region was Māori , with 3.5% of the population, or 17,886 people speaking this language at home.

The major differences between the languages spoken at home for the population of the Wellington Region and North Island in 2018 were:

  • A smaller percentage who speak Northern Chinese at home (1.3% compared to 2.3%)
  • A smaller percentage who speak Māori at home (3.5% compared to 4.6%)

Note: Percentages(%) are based on total population.

Emerging groups

Between 2013 and 2018, the number of people who spoke Māori, or Māori and English increased by 2,973 or 23.9%, and the number of people who spoke English only increased by 39,264 or 11.4%.

The largest changes in the spoken languages of the population in the Wellington Region between 2013 and 2018 were for those speaking:

  • Northern Chinese (+2,721 responses)
  • Māori (+2,268 responses)
  • Spanish (+1,797 responses)
  • Fiji Hindi (+1,656 responses)

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