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Greater Wellington Regional CouncilCommunity profile

Wellington Region


128,928 people in the Wellington Region had a tertiary qualification in 2018.

Education Qualifications are one of the most important indicators of socio-economic status. With other data sources, such as Income statistics and Occupation data, Wellington Region's Education Qualifications help to evaluate the economic opportunities and socio-economic status of an area and identify skill gaps in the labour market. Level of Educational Qualifications in a population relate to a number of factors including:

  • The age of the population (e.g. older people tend to have more vocational qualifications, while people in their twenties and thirties are more likely to have a university degree);
  • The professional or working ambitions of people (to seek education as youth or retraining as adults);
  • The opportunities afforded to people to continue studying beyond compulsory schooling; and
  • Immigration policy

Please note: Stats NZ has given Qualifications data for the 2018 Census a quality rating of "moderate". This indicates there may be some minor issues looking at the comparisons to 2013 and 2006. Users should avoid concluding that any change in the categories is purely due to real world change. See Stats NZ’s DataInfo+ for specific information on what this rating means and recommendations for use.


Derived from the Census questions:

'What is your highest secondary school qualification?', 'Apart from secondary school qualifications do you have another completed qualification?', and 'What is your highest qualification?'

Note: This page includes data from the 2018 Census. Between 2013 and 2018, the geographical classification was changed, and with it many boundaries were altered. As a result, you may see different small area options when comparing to pages that do not yet show 2018 data. Learn more.

Highest qualification achieved
Wellington Region20182013Change
Qualification levelNumber%North Island %Number%North Island %2013 to 2018
Higher degree60,18914.69.935,8119.45.9+24,378
Bachelor degree68,73916.614.360,71716.012.6+8,022
Post school (excluding university)91,53922.224.371,50818.919.4+20,031
School qualification117,01228.328.3120,61531.832.4-3,603
No qualification55,35913.416.455,08314.518.1+276
Not stated / included20,0614.96.835,5809.411.5-15,519
Total population aged 15+412,899100.0100.0379,314100.0100.0+33,585
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings 2013 and 2018. Compiled and presented in by .id , the population experts.
Stats NZ data quality rating: Moderate
Please refer to specific data notes for more information

Dominant groups

Analysis of the qualifications of the population in the Wellington Region in 2018 compared to North Island shows that there was a higher proportion of people holding formal qualifications (Higher degrees, Bachelor degrees and Post School (excluding university) qualifications), and a lower proportion of people with no formal qualifications.

Overall, 81.7% of the population aged 15 and over held educational qualifications, and 13.4% had no qualifications, compared with 76.8% and 16.4% respectively for North Island.

The major differences between qualifications held by the population of the Wellington Region and North Island were:

  • A larger percentage of persons with Higher degrees (14.6% compared to 9.9%)
  • A larger percentage of persons with Bachelor degrees (16.6% compared to 14.3%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons with No qualifications (13.4% compared to 16.4%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons with Post school (excluding university) qualifications (22.2% compared to 24.3%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the qualifications of the population in the Wellington Region between 2013 and 2018 were in those with:

  • Higher degrees (+24,378 persons)
  • Post school (excluding university) qualifications (+20,031 persons)
  • Bachelor degrees (+8,022 persons)
  • School qualifications (-3,603 persons)

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