The population of New Zealand in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 3,875,000, which placed it as number 122 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 12% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 23% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 97 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 0.77%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 4,173,000. The population density in 2002 was 14 per sq km (37 per sq mi), with nearly 75% of the population living on the North Island.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 86% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The two largest of the urban areas are Auckland (1,014,000), and Wellington, the capital (326,000). Other large cities include Christchurch (307,179), Dunedin (109,503), Hamilton (148,625), Palmerston North (70,951), and Tauranga (70,803). According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was1.0%.