Nobody Lives Here: Uninhabited Areas of New Zealand

Dec 2017

A map of New Zealand showing just how much land is uninhabited per square kilometre, making up 78.21% of our total land area.

Following the posting of several similar maps of other countries, I thought it would be interesting to see how sparse New Zealand was using population data. With 4.6 million people spread out over 268,021 km², New Zealand is not a crowded place when compared to more densely populated countries such as Japan and the UK.

This map only tells you one side of the story though – there are many reasons that people don’t live in these areas, including important ecological habitats in our national parks, mountainous terrain that is difficult to build upon and extensive farmland areas, which are used for food production.

The above map received plenty of attention on Reddit’s r/newzealand and r/mapporn, and featured in articles in The New Zealand Herald and Newshub.

You can also check out a web map displaying the data below.

Map by Andrew Douglas-Clifford. 1km Population grid data by Blair Rogers/Stats NZ/LINZ under a CC BY licence / Modified from original

The Nobody Lives Here map is available to freely download and print for non-commercial purposes: