New Zealand population on course to reach 5 million by year's end

New Zealand's population is on track to hit 5 million by the end of the year.

Statistics NZ said on Monday the country's population on December 31 last year was 4,926,000, up 1.7 percent in the previous 12 months.

If it grows by the same amount this year, there will be 5,010,148 people calling New Zealand home at the end of 2019.

Females outnumber males 2,496,000 to 2,430,000. The average man is 35.6 and the average woman 38.2. 

Annual net migration last year was 48,300, down from 52,700 the previous year.

New Zealand's population reached the 4 million mark in 2003.

It took 30 years to go from 3 million to 4 million, Statistics NZ says. A century ago, there were barely more than 1 million people.