Sikhs are the fastest-growing religious minority in New Zealand, their number having doubled in the past five years, as per New Zealand’s 34th Census of Population and Dwellings report. The Sikh population in the country was 19,191 in 2013. It swelled to 40,908 in 2018.
Not just the Sikhs but other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, have also witnessed a rise in their numbers in the country that has a total population of 48 lakh. The Hindu population went up from 0.89 to 1.23 lakh and the Muslim from 46,149 to 61,455 in the five years.
Experts say the past decade saw large-scale migration from Punjab to New Zealand. Dr Rajesh Aggarwal, Associate Professor, Population Research, CRRID, Chandigarh, says because of the restrictions imposed by European and Northern American countries, many youngsters opted to study in New Zealand.
Indians have emerged as the fourth largest community with a 2.44 lakh population. New Zealand European (30.25 lakh), Maori (7.77 lakh) and Chinese languages top the chart. The census covers the entire population. Official counting in the country goes back to 1842. NZ’s first official national population census was carried out in 1851.