New Zealand

Map of New Zealand

The country is an island nation with an area of 103,000 square miles and a population of 4.3 million. According to 2006 census data, percentages of religious affiliation are: Anglican, 14.8 percent; Roman Catholic, 13.6 percent; Presbyterian, 10.7 percent; Methodist, 3.3 percent; other Protestant denominations, 8.2 percent; Christian (no affiliation specified), 5 percent; Buddhist, 1.7 percent; Hindu, 1.7 percent; and Muslim, 1 percent. Over 90 additional religious groups together constituted less than 1 percent of the population. In addition, 34.7 percent stated that they had no religious affiliation.

The indigenous Maori (estimated at 15 percent of the population) tend to be followers of Presbyterianism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), or Maori Christian groups such as Ratana and Ringatu. The Auckland area, which accounts for approximately 33 percent of the country's population, is home to the greatest religious diversity.

While the country is predominantly Christian, recent trends indicate that it is becoming more religiously diverse. According to the 2006 census, approximately 56 percent of citizens identify themselves as Christian, a 5 percent decrease from the 2001 census. Within the Christian community, Anglicans and Presbyterians exhibited a decline between 2001 and 2006, while the number of self-identified Pentecostals and "Evangelical, Born Again, and Fundamentalist Christians" increased by 17.8 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively. Syncretistic Maori Christian churches such as Ratana and Ringatu also experienced significant growth, and the proportion of Roman Catholics and Methodists grew slightly. During the same period, non Christian religious groups continued to show steady growth rates, driven primarily by immigration.

Population Population (2009 est.) 4,213,418
Religious Demographics Anglican 14.9%, Roman Catholic 12.4%, Presbyterian 10.9%, Methodist 2.9%, Pentacostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9.4%, other 3.3%, unspecified 17.2%, none 26% (2001 census)
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups European 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Asian 5.7%, Pacific islander 4.4%, other 0.5%, mixed 7.8%, unspecified 3.8% (2001 census)
Languages Languages English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)
Country Flag Flag of New Zealand