Age and GenderAt the last census (2006) the median age of the Central Otago population was 43 years. This compares to the national average age of 35 years. Central Otago is under represented in all age classes less than 40 years and over represented in all older age classes. This is shown in the following table:
The gap in 20 – 39 year olds has been called the demographic valley. While it is a national trend, and reflects the large number of younger New Zealanders currently overseas, the trend is even starker in Central Otago, where it is perceived that there are fewer education and career opportunities as well as lifestyle attractions for younger people. Other issues such as housing affordability may also make Central Otago less appealing for some.
Unlike the total population of New Zealand the population of Central Otago is split almost exactly 50/50 between men and women. Nationally there are more women than men. The even split is possibly a provincial New Zealand phenomenon as more of the available work is in industries, such as agriculture or construction, that are traditionally male dominated than for New Zealand as a whole, and larger cities in particular.