Korean Community

73% of New Zealand ’s Koreans live in Auckland

The Korean ethnic group comprised 30,171 people or less than 1 percent of people that stated an ethnic group living in New Zealand on 5 March 2013.

For people identifying with the Korean ethnic group living in New Zealand on 5 March 2013:

  • The most common region this group lived in was Auckland Region (72.8 percent or 21,981 people).
  • The median age (half are younger and half are older than this age) was 31.2 years.
  • 11.0 percent (3,294 people) were born in New Zealand and 89.0 percent (26,613 people) were born overseas.
  • 93.2 percent (21,687 people) aged 15 years and over had a formal qualification.
  • $11,500 was the median income (half received less and half received more income) for those aged 15 years and over.

On arrival most families had sufficient funds to buy houses in relatively affluent suburbs such as Auckland ’s North Shore which, with its Korean churches, soon held an active community. By 2001, in North Shore City , Korean was the second most common language after English.

In the early 2000s many Koreans were in the process of settling; very few were fully integrated into mainstream society. The majority of Korean immigrants held tertiary qualifications and were in their thirties and forties, meeting the immigration criteria. Some chain migration occurred as earlier arrivals sent home favorable reports to friends and relations – including elderly parents – who then came out to join them.

Wherever they have settled, Koreans have helped boost Catholic and Presbyterian congregations. In 2001 over half of New Zealand Koreans were Christians, with Buddhists a small minority.

Korean newspapers and magazines such as the New Korea Herald, the New Zealand Times and Korea Town have been circulating in Auckland since the 1990s.

In 2001 almost 70% of New Zealand ’s Koreans lived in the Auckland area
By 2001, in North Shore City, Korean was the second most common language after English
16% in Christchurch and others scattered throughout the country.
In New Zealand a city lifestyle suited them, as it offered access to all the necessities and to community networks.

The New Zealand census figures listed here show the number of residents born in Korea .

1976 census: 147
2001 census: 17,943
2006 census: 28,821

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