What you will be asked in the 2023 Census

Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand on Census Day, 7 March 2023, will be asked to answer questions about themselves in the census. As a household there will also be questions about where you live, Stats NZ said today.

2023 Census Family member receiving bilingual pack

29 January 2023

“There will be a lot that is familiar in the 2023 Census,” said Simon Mason, Deputy Government Statistician and Deputy Chief Executive Census and Collection Operations.

“The majority of questions are the same as for previous censuses, because one of the benefits of doing a census is to understand what is changing for the country over time.

“Everybody will fill out an Individual Form, or have one filled out on their behalf, for example, if they are an infant. There will also be a few questions about your household and about the dwelling you are living in,” said Simon Mason.

Stats NZ has published the questions that will be asked in the 2023 Census. Some questions will only apply to some people, for example, questions on income and employment.

“To help people understand what is being asked, we have published the questions from the census forms on the census website (at www.census.govt.nz),” said Mason.

“The questions reflect the broad range of uses of census data. Most of the topics covered are the same as previous censuses, for example, population demographics, location, ethnicity, culture and identity, education and training, income, work, families and households, housing, transport, cigarette smoking, and disability.

“Collecting this information not only provides a count of the population and dwellings, but when grouped and combined together as anonymised data, provides a rich understanding of life in New Zealand.

“This enables government, councils, iwi and community groups to respond with policies, services and funding to support the needs of communities, population groups, and the country as a whole,” said Mason.

There are some new questions in the 2023 Census.

“Our focus is on ensuring we get good responses to the information we have collected previously. There are some limited changes to the questions being asked,” said Mason.

“We will collect gender, variations of sex characteristics, and sexual identity information for the first time. 

“Some minor changes to questions and an additional question will also support preparations for the New Zealand Household Disability Survey, which will happen after the 2023 Census.  

“We have also made improvements to questions to make them easier to understand. For example, the question on iwi affiliation provides better information to enable Māori to respond.”

Information on the questions that will be asked in the census forms can be viewed on the census website at www.census.govt.nz/census-questions.

Final decisions on the content for the 2023 Census were informed by engagement and testing with stakeholders and the public.

Read the 2023 Census: Final content report