Demographics are the characteristics of human populations and population segments, especially when used to identify consumer markets (American Heritage Dictionary)

The information here is designed to give business people, students and anyone else who is interested a “feel” for the population of the district – who they are, and where are they heading. It is important to not only know the size of your market, but also such things as income, age spread and cultural diversity.

The main source for this information is from the 2013 New Zealand census. However, we are always looking for newer or more relevant sources of information, and will update these pages when we have better data.

Please contact us if you want information that isn’t covered here or is about specific areas within the district. We will do what we can to help you.


The population of Central Otago grew 1.4 percent over the ten years 2005 to 2015 compared to 1.0 per cent for New Zealand as a whole and 0.8 per cent for the Otago region. Lifestyle opportunities along with further service based growth are likely to be the main drivers that attract more new residents to the district.  


The median income in Central Otago is $28,200, which is slightly lower that the median of $28,500 for all of New Zealand.  The percentage of the Central Otago district population with an annual income of more than $60,000 is 23.3 per cent, compared with 26.7 per cent of people in New Zealand.

Age and gender

The Central Otago gender split is 50:50 male/female.  The median age of 47.0 years for people in Central Otago district is considerably higher than the 38.0 years median for the country as a whole.  This figure reflects the higher number of retired people, and the trend for young people to leave the area for training/education opportunities and overseas travel.

Cultural Diversity

The majority of the Central Otago population belong to the European ethnic group with less than 15 per cent of residents of Maori and other ethnic origins.


At 75.3 percent the number of Central Otago district residents with formal qualifications is slightly less than the 79.1 per cent of people for New Zealand as a whole, which is typical for a semi-rural region.  Up-skilling and further education is a priority for many of the community who take advantage of courses offered by the Cromwell Campus Otago Polytechnic and distance learning providers.

Relationship Status

Central Otago people are more likely to be in a stable relationship with 59.6 per cent - 11 per cent more than that national average - married.


Business Directory
Business Groups & Organisations
There are a range of business groups and organisations in Central Otago for networking, advice and business support. Find out details of when and where they meet and how you can contact them. Read More

Economic Development Strategy
The Economic Development strategy’s key purpose is to help the Central Otago community focus on issues that impact on our economic and social well-being, and to suggest some of the actions we can take over the next few years to address them. Read More
Central Otago Food & Wine
Central Otago Food & Wine Central Otago is a place of sheer indulgence – whether it’s fine dining, a casual al-fresco lunch or café culture. You will be spoilt for choice when enjoying local fare and award winning wines at the great selection of cafés, restaurants, cellar doors and country pubs. Read More

Central Otago Towns
Central Otago Towns To travel to Central Otago is to journey into New Zealand’s golden heartland. Its many towns and settlements are founded on the pioneering spirit and back-breaking toil of farming run-holders and adventure-seeking gold miners. These places lie nestled amid the grandeur of towering mountain ranges, stunning rocky tors, sweeping plains, valleys, gorges and meandering and mighty rivers. Read More

Cycle Central Otago
Cycle Central Otago The entire region is criss-crossed with smaller cycling and mountain biking trails for the adventurous or the leisure cyclist and there are lengths to suit any time you might have available. Whether you’re looking to take a holiday with the family, a weekend with friends or a romantic escape, cycling in Central Otago offers something different and memorable. Read More
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