Quelle surprise.

The first statistics have finally been released following last year’s census and, unsurprisingly, they show Queenstown-Lakes has experienced rapid growth.

But while it may seem hard to believe, the rate of growth in population has actually slowed down in the past five years.

However, census figures also show over the past 10 years, growth in Queenstown has risen by 70%.

In 2013 the region had a population of 28,224, which increased by 38.7% to 39,953 in 2018.

Five years later, the population hit 47,808 — a rise of 22.1%.

The slower population rise in the past five years may have been impacted by Covid, when tourists disappeared and Queenstown more or less stood still for a couple of years.

The resort’s bounced back at pace, though — Queenstown council records show the resident population grew by 8% last year alone.

Overall, Otago has 240,900 residents which is a rise of 7% from five years ago.

Southland had an increase in population of just over 2%, rising to 100,143.

In Queenstown, ethnicity figures record 83% of the population (39,594) identifying as European, while those who identify as Asian have increased markedly.

In 2013, there were 1812 who identified as Asians — that grew to 3867 in 2018 and is now at 5001, or more than 10% of the population.

Those who identified as Māori tallied 3060 while Pacific Island people reached 696.

The most popular age group for those living in Queenstown-Lakes is those aged between 30-34 with 5997, while there were 144 people aged over 90 when the census was taken last March.

Statistics show there’s also been a 26% increase in the number of dwellings in the district — up from 20,403 in 2018 to 25,347 last year.

However, no record’s been given for how many of those properties are permanently occupied.

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