Exploring New Zealands Population and Geography
- New Zealand is the 12th and 14th largest island in the world
- It shares an oceanic and temperate climate with other densely populated places
- However, New Zealand’s population is significantly smaller than other countries due to its extreme isolation from the rest of the world
- Most of New Zealand’s population is concentrated on the North Island, with Auckland as its primary city
- On the South Island, population density is nearly barren, with only 5.4 people per square kilometer
- New Zealand was first visited by Polynesian explorers in the 13th century and Europeans in 1769.
Exploring New Zealands Changing Population Dynamics Through the Centuries
- New Zealand’s human population was zero when first discovered in the 13th century
- Maori population numbered around 200,000 individuals by 1769
- European immigrants from Britain and Ireland began to arrive in 1840, with Maori population crashing to 40,000 by 1890
- North Island is more populated today than South Island due to easier development – less mountainous & warmer temperatures on North Island
- East side of South Island is flatter yet receives too little rain for sustainable agriculture while West receives too much rain
- North Island has active volcanoes producing fertile soils not present on South.
New Zealand Diversifies Its Economy Through Agriculture and Immigration
- New Zealand’s geography limits its ability to grow crops and have a competitive manufacturing sector
- As a result, it has become an offshore European Ranch with sheep and cows as its primary exports
- While only two percent of its land is suitable for crop growth, 55 percent is used for agriculture, largely through animal ranching
- New Zealand produces enough food to feed 40 million people annually, 95 percent of which gets exported
- Immigration has long been the main driver of population growth in New Zealand
- Racist policies artificially capped immigration numbers until very recently.
New Zealand Immigration Boom Causes Housing Market Stress
- Immigration to New Zealand has increased rapidly, particularly since the early 2000s
- The majority of new immigrants come from Asia, primarily China, India and the Philippines
- Most settle around Auckland due to better flight connections
- This is straining the city’s housing market as house prices have risen to 25 times average salary in the area
- Natural constraints limit how much of New Zealand can be inhabited
- Brilliant’s interactive courses allow a smooth transition in learning math and science.