20 per cent of booming district's residents born overseas

Selwyn's diversity has been proven with the latest census data showing nearly 20 per cent of...
Selwyn's diversity has been proven with the latest census data showing nearly 20 per cent of people living in the district were born overseas. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Nearly 20 per cent of people living in Canterbury's fastest growing district were born overseas, new census data reveals.

Data from the 2018 census released this month shows 11,910 people have come from across the globe and settled in the Selwyn district.

They make up 19.85 per cent of the 59,979 people living in the district who stated their birthplace.

That is up from 7278 in the 2013 census and 4749 in 2006.

People born in the United Kingdom and Ireland make up the largest percentage of those born overseas at 37.1 per cent - with 4422 living in the district at the time of the census.

There were 2814 residents born in Asia and 1416 from the Middle East and Africa.

Dave Fitzjohn, of Greendale, is British and moved to the district with his wife, April, and two daughters from Singapore about 20 years ago.

He said they were shocked by the amount of land you could acquire.

“When we first started looking to buy, we could get a couple of acres for the same price as what you’d get in the UK for a two-bedroom apartment.

“We thought, wow, two acres, we are going be like kings so we decided to buy a bit of land in Greendale.”

The latest census data also shows 6000 residents are of Maori descent, up from 3861 in 2013.

There are 5067 45 to 49-year-olds living in the district, making it the most common age group.

It was also revealed last week that the district had the highest population and economic growth in the country over the past 10 years.

Economic profile figures from data analysts Infometrics showed from 2009 to 2019, the district’s population grew by an average of 5.2 per cent each year.

That is ahead of the Queenstown Lakes District on 4.5 per cent.

Gross domestic product in the Selwyn District grew by an annual average of 6.5 per cent, again ahead of Queenstown Lakes on four per cent.

The district also had the largest growth in population in the country for last year at 5.3 per cent.

Last year, employment in the district increased by 3.8 per cent, the third-highest growth in job numbers nationally.

Unemployment remained almost unchanged at 2.4 per cent.

The tourism market in the district grew by 15.7 per cent over the 2019 year, bringing in just over $59 million.

Mayor Sam Broughton says it is good to see so many people recognising what a great place Selwyn is to live.

“We welcome the people who have joined us in calling Selwyn home over the last 10 years. We knew this place was good, and now we share this with many new arrivals. 

“Our planning and investment in quality infrastructure means we can cater for future growth which continues to bring many new amenities to existing residents,” he said. 


The places of birth of people living in Selwyn:

  • New Zealand – 48,066
  • United Kingdom and Ireland – 4422,   
  • Asia – 2814,   
  • Middle East and Africa – 1416
  • Australia – 1146,   
  • Europe (excluding UK and Ireland) – 963   
  • North America – 483
  • Pacific Islands – 438
  • Other – 237

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