Facts and Stats 


The People

  • About 487,000 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%  Pacific Island
    • 8.3% Asian
    • 10.9 % 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.

Quality of Living

In early 2009, Wellington city was ranked by a 'Top Spots to Live' survey as New Zealand’s best place for families as well as New Zealand’s greenest city.  Porirua City was also in the top 10 in both categories.

In the Mercer 2012 International Quality of Living Survey, Wellington ranked as the 13th city for quality of living.

Progress and Wellbeing

The Wellington Region Genuine Progress Index (GPI) is a new approach to measuring progress in the Wellington region. It is a monitoring framework for assessing progress towards the well-being goals of the Wellington Regional Strategy (WRS).

It enables us to put measures around the quality of life and well-being of residents in the region, as well as the condition of the environment and the economy. Wellington Regions GPI has improved by 5% since 2001, for more information visit their website.

Workforce and Wealth

  • 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 compares with a 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.


  • 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 some 25% of people are born overseas. Its rich cultural scene makes it as exciting for singles as it is welcoming for families.


  • 49.8% of Wellingtonians own their own home.

Source: Statistics New Zealand.

Climate and Seasons

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

Source: Statistics New Zealand.

Wellington has a climate that engages all of your senses. There is even a book of poetry devoted to the subject, called ‘Big Weather’. Nobel Prize-winning Australian author Patrick White affectionately described Wellington as ‘like Norway with a touch of Greece’.

Wellington's winters are mild by Northern European or North American standards, with cool clear days mixed with occasional chilly southerly storms.

There are micro-climates within and around the region. The Hutt Valley tends to be cooler in winter, warmer in summer, and more sheltered. Kapiti Coast tends to be warmer, and has less wind and rain. The Wairarapa is hotter again, and drier.

Access to the great outdoors

  • 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

  • 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.

Related Links

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