Profile of Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand's centre of government and the world's southernmost capital city.

Aerial view of Wellington at night.


It is also the country's cultural capital and the third most populous urban area in New Zealand.

The city is home to many museums, theatres and arts festivals, including Te Papa Tongarewa (the Museum of New Zealand), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the biennial Festival of the Arts.

Child Friendly Cities logo.

Wellington is also:

  • a leading centre for creative industries, such as film and computer technology
  • registered with UNICEF as a child-friendly city
  • the home of the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX).

The city is situated alongside Wellington Harbour and surrounded by natural beauty including Zealandia, an award-winning eco-attraction just minutes from the central business district.

Our Wellington video

Check out this video, featuring Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Wellingtonians talking about our city.

Census summaries

Census summaries from the 2006 Census cover a range of topics on population and dwellings. The most recent Census was held in 2013.

Census - Statistics NZ

Community profiles

The Wellington City Council Community Profile website provides a comprehensive socio-demographic profile of Wellington city and suburbs. The profile is based on population statistics from the 1999, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings.

The profile allows analysis of population characteristics for different areas and includes historical data to show how they have changed over time. To provide context, the Wellington city profile is benchmarked against the Wellington region and New Zealand as a whole.

Community Profile

Population Forecasts

The Council's Population Forecasts website shows how Wellington's population will change each year from 2006-2031, including for each suburb. It includes the population, number of dwellings, people in each year of age and the type of households people are living in (e.g. lone person, couple without children etc).

Population forecast

Residents' satisfaction surveys

These surveys are carried out in February and May each year and look at how well the city is achieving the goals Councillors have set during the Annual Plan process. The results of the survey are published in the Annual Report. Highlights are available in the Topline Reports.


Wellington city has a steadily growing population which increased by over 10,000 between 2006 and 2011 to 200,100 people.

Wellington city is the largest of a number of closely linked cities and districts that make up the Wellington region. The region overall is home to almost 500,000 people.

The city accounts for 41% of the region's population and 5% of New Zealand's overall population. It is expected to see steady growth over the next decade.

Wellington city's population is young with 55.9% aged 18 - 49 years (2006) compared with 45.1% in New Zealand generally.

Wellington city has higher proportions of Europeans (76.8%) and Asians (12.7%) than New Zealand as a whole, and lower proportions of Maori (7.4%) and Pacific peoples (6.6%).

Over one-third (33%) of Wellington residents have a bachelor degree or higher qualification - the highest in the country.


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


Incomes in Wellington city are well above the average for New Zealand with over 40% of households having annual incomes of over $89,000.

The average hourly wage in Wellington city is $31.90, the highest in the country (as of December 2009).

There were 102,627 employed residents in Wellington city in 2006 in a diverse range of industries. Property and business services provide the greatest number of jobs (21,819), followed by government administration and defence (12,699).


There are 68,901 dwellings in Wellington city, with 54.3% of these owned. One-quarter of dwellings are one-person households.

The average house value in Wellington city is $538,000 with a median weekly mortgage payment of $340.


There are 25,284 Wellington-based businesses and there has been a 22% growth in business units here since 2000.

Nearly half (46%) of Wellington city workers are employed in businesses with more than 100 employees.