Chart of the Month: Every dog has its day

New Zealand’s dog population has been increasing strongly in recent years, with a 3.1%pa lift in 2021 and a further 2.4%pa lift in 2022 – growth results that far outstrip the 0.4% and 0.2%pa human population growth rates. As a result, the number of dogs in New Zealand, on a population-adjusted basis, has risen to its highest since 2013. This growth has seen an increase of nearly 70,000 dogs.

Chatham Islands remains the Floof Capital of New Zealand

But the concentration of dogs across New Zealand varies considerably. As our Chart of the Month shows, dog numbers on a population-adjusted basis are generally higher in more provincial areas and are particularly strong in the South Island. The South Island accounts for just over 23% of the human population, but just under 33% of the canine population – a ratio broadly unchanged since we first reported on it in 2018.

The Chatham Islands once again takes out the position as Dog Capital of New Zealand, by quite a margin. In 2022, there was one dog for every two people on the Chathams (405 dogs for a human population of 800). Other top dog spots around New Zealand include Hurunui, Southland, Ruapehu, and Clutha Districts. Across New Zealand as a whole, there was a one dog for around every 8.5 people.

Despite views that the political capital must also be the dog capital of New Zealand, dog numbers in Wellington City are actually the lowest in New Zealand on a population-adjusted basis. In 2022, there was one dog for ever 16 people in Wellington City, an improvement on the one dog for every 20 people five years ago. Wellington, Auckland, and Hamilton cities have among the lowest number of dogs per people across New Zealand.

Teaching an old dog new tricks

For this month’s Chart of the Month, we’ve added in a bit more detail about dog insights across New Zealand’s 67 local authority areas. Hovering over an area will display the number of dogs in 2022, the annual growth rate, the number of dogs per 10,000 people and the areas rank, and details about the most popular dog breed for that area. For the inquisitive, find the one area that has the Smooth Collie as its most popular dog.

Not letting sleeping dogs lie

This is the third time we’ve analysed dog-related statistics around New Zealand. Our previous analysis includes:

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