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COVID-19
Population Report.

How we are behaving as a population from before and through the COVID-19 Delta variant.

6 September 2021

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How is our population data produced?

Data Ventures is working together with the major telecommunication companies in New Zealand.

Using the aggregated and anonymised mobile data[*] provided to us, along with Stats NZ expertise, Data Ventures has created population estimates of residents and visitors in New Zealand every hour down to suburb level. Read more in the footnotes page.

Our population – a view of the whole nation

As New Zealand enters another lockdown, it makes sense to look at how this has affected population movements around the country.

In this section, we have highlighted international and domestic visitor numbers, as well as our national mobility index[*] as we change COVID-19 Alert Levels.

We define domestic visitors as people who are outside of their local tourism region. These regions are defined by Regional Tourism Organisations.

International visitors are defined as people who do not live in New Zealand and who are staying in the country for less than 90 days.

Our mobility index[*] is created using the difference between maximum and minimum population estimates in different areas over a day. We have used the first half of 2021 as a baseline for normal population mobility. The index represents the percentage difference from baseline mobility.

Domestic visitors

+15%

CHANGE IN THE
LAST 2 WEEKS

International visitors

-6%

CHANGE IN THE
LAST 2 WEEKS

National mobility index

+7 POINTS

CHANGE IN THE
LAST 2 WEEKS

NOTE: The vertical lines represent changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Our population – how COVID-19 has affected habits

Changes in Alert Levels come with changes in New Zealanders’ habits. It’s important to understand how these habits affect different areas across the country.

Here we show general population trends in different types of areas, from 1 July 2021 to now.

These graphs are based on hourly population estimates for six types of areas[*] in New Zealand: retail, transit, residential, tourism, workplace and recreational. We used population patterns from before COVID-19 to classify these areas. Refer to our notes[*] for some more detail around what population behaviours the different area types represent.

NOTE: Due to an outage, data is missing for the period between 9am 21 July and 10am 22 July.

retail

recreational

residential

tourism

transit

workplace

NOTE: The vertical lines represent changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Our population – how weekly patterns have changed

By looking at population counts[*] across different weeks, we can get a good idea of how Kiwis have changed their behaviour in response to COVID-19. These graphs are based on population counts for the same key types of areas as the previous section.

In this part of the report, we cover off three periods: a normal week in early 2021[*], two weeks ago, and one week ago. We have broken out the comparisons into two. We first compare last week to a normal week in the first half of 2021 to see the changes compared to before the COVID-19 Delta variant arrived in New Zealand. We then compare what has happened over the last two weeks to see the effects of changing Alert Levels.

retail

1 week ago v normal week early 2021

1 week ago

normal week early 2021

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

recreational

1 week ago v normal week early 2021

1 week ago

normal week early 2021

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

residential

1 week ago v normal week early 2021

1 week ago

normal week early 2021

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

tourism

1 week ago v normal week early 2021

1 week ago

normal week early 2021

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

transit

1 week ago v normal week early 2021

1 week ago

normal week early 2021

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

workplace

1 week ago v normal week early 2021

1 week ago

normal week early 2021

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

Changes in population mobility across area categories

In this section, we explore population mobility across different kinds of areas.

Our mobility index[*] is created using the difference between maximum and minimum population estimates in different areas over a day. We have used the first half of 2021 as a baseline for normal population mobility.

This gives us an idea of how much New Zealanders are moving in and out of different area types, compared to similar days earlier this year.

retail

recreational

residential

tourism

transit

workplace

NOTE: The vertical lines represent changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Changes in population mobility across regions

In this section, we look at population mobility in the regions of New Zealand.

Our mobility index[*] is created using the difference between maximum and minimum population estimates in different areas over a day. We have used the first half of 2021 as a baseline for normal population mobility.

This gives us an idea of how much New Zealanders are moving around in different regions, compared to similar days earlier this year.

northland

auckland

waikato

bay of plenty

gisborne

hawke's bay

taranaki

manawatu-wanganui

wellington

west coast

canterbury

otago

southland

tasman

nelson

marlborough

NOTE: The vertical lines represent changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Changes in population mobility across regions last week compared to before COVID‑19

This comparison lets us see – at a glance – how much the population is moving around compared to normal weeks earlier this year.

This is a good figure to get an idea of how the current Alert Level impacts New Zealand’s population and their behaviour.

1 week ago v normal week early 2021

Changes in population mobility across regions over the last two weeks

This comparison gives us a snapshot of population mobility last week, compared to the week before.

This figure lets us understand the effect of changing alert levels on New Zealand’s population and their behaviour.

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago