February NZ Herald : New Zealand Culture Diversifies.

            New Zealand’s culture is much more diverse now than 10 years ago, and a strong eastern influx is partly responsible.

            One in 15 people are of Asian ethnicity – more than double the 1991 figure, according to last year’s census. And, although nearly one in six of our 3.7 million- plus population is multilingual, one in 50 people do not speak English.

            When the language question was first asked in the 1996 census, the response was similar, indicating a new wave of non-English speakers.

            Not counting children under- five years of age, the majority of immigrants who have not master New Zealand’s pre-dominant tongue speak Samoan, Cantonese and Korean. By far the fastest growing ethnic group is from Korea – up from only 930 a decade ago to 19,026.

            More than 2 million people said they were Christian, but there was a big increase in other religions. Islam disciples leaped 74 percent in five years to 23,631, Hindu 56 percent to 39,798, Buddhist 48 percent to 41,634 and Spiritualism 64 percent to 16,062.

            The number of people aged 85 or older increased 26 percent in the past five years.