Friday, 1 March 2013

Census and Election Stats

The 2013 census is days away, and it will be interesting to see if there have been any significant changes since the 2006 census. That census showed a 3.3% population increase in Otautau from the 2001 census. Our 'usual resident' population in 2006 was 753. In 2001, it was 729. Yet in 1996, it was 813. Still, we make up less than 1% of the Southland population. Hard to believe! We had more males than females because we have more males under age 15 than females. We actually have more adult females than males. Our European population was 80.6% and the Māori population was 10.9%.

A surprising stat was that 44% of Otautau residents age 15 and over didn't have school qualifications. It would be interesting to know if there is a specific age group that makes up the bulk of this stat.

In the workforce, we have more labourers than any other profession. Unfortunately, the QuickStats don't show our unemployment rate but digging a little deeper into the stats website, I collated the following information.
Otautau employment census statistics for 1996, 2001, and 2006
It shows unemployment has gone down slightly during the previous three censuses. That's good news. Of course that was 7 years ago! We've had a few meltdowns since then.

It will be months before the results of Tuesday's census are in, and with the help of StatsNZ, we will be able to compare Otautau's profile over the last 17 years. But in the meantime, it does bring to mind another set of statistics that are interesting to look at - the 2011 election. I know - it's old news by now, but still interesting because it shows that Otautau is changing slowly. New people are coming in and increasing our electoral diversity - even if it's ever so slight.

Otautau voter numbers were down in 2011 - only 479 compared to 523 in the 2008 election. In fact, party votes for National, Labour and ACT were down while NZ First, the Greens and the Conservative Party showed significant gains.

Otautau election results from 2008 and 2011
Politically, Otautau is much the same as it's always been, but it will be interesting to watch how it adapts in these times of rapid technological change, dairy expansions, low export prices, and global economic belt-tightening. Will our political demographics change too or stay the same?

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