Picture of small boy looking over hills and paddocks in Waikato

Waikato District Council

The Waikato district is a large geographical area sparsely populated by North Island standards, with just fewer than 40,000 people living in this predominantly rural area, which covers roughly 310,000 hectares. However, nearly 1.5 million people live within a 250 km radius of the Waikato district.

The Waikato district encompasses a diverse area, from Raglan on the west coast to inland farming areas. It has a large rural population, many small communities and three main towns - Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Raglan.

The population of the Waikato district was 39,855 in 2001, when the last census was undertaken, with a growth rate of 1.8 per cent, less than New Zealand as a whole.

The Waikato district has a lower median age of people at 33.7 years, lower than that of New Zealand as a whole where it is 34.8 years. This is a reflection of the fact that the district has a smaller number of people aged over 65 (9.8 per cent) and a larger number of people aged under 15 (26.9 per cent) than the average. 

There are high levels of home ownership in the Waikato district with 71.1 per cent of permanent residents owning their own property.