1851 New Zealand census

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First Census of the
Colony of New Zealand
Government Blue Book New Zealand Table of Contents 1851.jpg
The 1851 census "Blue Book" statistics for "New Munster" (South Island). Source: Statistics NZ.
General information
Country Colony of New Zealand
Date taken 1 November 1851
Total population 26,707
Most populous district Auckland (9,430)
Least populous district New Plymouth (1,532)

The 1851 New Zealand census was the first national population census. The day used for the census, was Saturday 1 November 1851. The enumeration was left to the governments of New Ulster and New Munster, the two provinces into which the country was then divided and was ordered by the Census Ordinance of 1851.[1] The census, which was confined to Europeans, revealed a population of 26,707.[2]

Summary[edit]

General Census of 1851

Data availability[edit]

The Blue Books were statistical information from New Zealand’s early Colonial period (1840–1855). They have information about population, revenue, military, trade, shipping, public works, legislation, civil servants, foreign consuls, land transactions, churches, schools, and prisons.[4]

Population and dwellings[edit]

Population counts for the New Zealand districts. The original six were Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, and Otago, though in 1858 New Plymouth was renamed Taranaki.

District / Settlement Males Females Total Percent
Province of New Ulster - - 17,371 65.0%
Auckland
    Auckland 5,282 4,148 } 9,430 35.3%
    Windsor (near Auckland)
     Bay of Islands
    Hokianga
     Smaller settlements
New Plymouth 845 687 1,532 5.7%
Wellington 3,613 2,796 6,409 24.0%
Province of New Munster - - 9,336 35.0%
Nelson 2,317 1,970 4,287 16.1%
Canterbury
    Akaroa 1,965 1,308 } 3,273 12.3%
    Rest of province
Otago 1,013 763 1,776 6.6%
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Colony of New Zealand 15,035 11,672 26,707 100.0%
Source: Dominion Population Committee (Reports of the)[5]
Blue Books: 1840-1855 Archives New Zealand[6][7]

Birthplace[edit]

Population by country of birth:

Country Population
Percentage
United Kingdom New Zealand - 12.3%
Total - Overseas-born 87.7%
England England 13,485 54.8%
Scotland Scotland 12.7%
United Kingdom Ireland 16.5%
Wales Wales 0.4%
     Totals, British Isles 84.4%
Other 3.3%
Colony of New Zealand 26,707 100.0%
Source: Statistics New Zealand[8]

Religion[edit]

Members of Christian denominations formed 93.35 per cent. of those who made answer to the inquiry at the census; non-Christian sects were 0.24 per cent.; whilst “other” religions constituted 6.41 per cent.

Denomination 1851 Census
Number Percentage
Christian 24,930 93.35%
    Church of England 14,179 53.09%
    Presbyterians 4,124 15.44%
    Methodists 2,755 10.31%
    Baptist 400 1.50%
    Totals, Protestant 21,458 80.34%
    Roman; Catholic 3,472 13.00%
Jews 65 0.24%
Other specified religions 1,712 6.41%
Grand total, Colony of New Zealand 26,707 100.0%
Source: Religion in New Zealand.[9]

Numbers of livestock[edit]

Showing the numbers of livestock in the possession of Europeans in the several settlements in 1851.

Settlement. Horses Mules and Asses Horned Cattle Sheep Goats Pigs
Auckland 1,035 11 10,943 11,075 2,604 5,679
New Plymouth 68 - 1,395 2,700 83 1,165
Wellington (incl Hawkes Bay) 788 28 11,407 64,009 2,654 3,135
Nelson 532 13 5,838 92,014 5,842 2,609
Canterbury 224 7 2,043 28,416 356 1,255
Otago 243 1 3,161 34,829 582 2,371
Totals 2,890 60 34,787 233,043 12,121 16,214
Source: 1851 Census of New Zealand.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Government Gazette 1851 "An Ordinance for taking a Census of the Colony of New Zealand"
  2. ^ A history of census-taking in New Zealand Early population counts
  3. ^ Chapter 2: Early Statistical Sources – 19th Century Statistical Publications
  4. ^ Blue Books: Statistics Information 1840 – 1855 Archives New Zealand. Download: (New Munster – Population – Page 133)
  5. ^ DOMINION POPULATION COMMITTEE (REPORTS OF THE) (Mr. James Thorn, Chairman)
  6. ^ Blue Books: Statistics Information 1840 – 1855 Archives New Zealand. Download: (New Munster – Population – Page 133)
  7. ^ Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand By New Zealand. Parliament. House of Representatives
  8. ^ Loyalism and the Formation of the British World, 1775–1914 By Allan Blackstock, Frank O'Gorman
  9. ^ Religion in New Zealand Census data
  10. ^ Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand 1851–1861 Census of New Zealand. (Page: 12)