Population decline is a major concern for Niue. Emigration to New Zealand and further afield has been a feature of life since the opening of Niue’s airport in 1971.
Niue’s population, according to the 2006 Niue Census was 1625, down by 10% on the 2001 census, and from around 5000 in the 1960s. The population in 2010 is estimated to be 1400.
In the 2006 New Zealand census, 22,500 respondents identified themselves as Niuean, many of them born in New Zealand. Employment, educational opportunities and family ties draw Niueans to New Zealand. There was also major emigration following the destruction caused by Cyclone Heta.
Maintaining a vital community on the island is a key objective for the Governments of Niue and New Zealand.