In 2019 the official population count for Tokelau was 1,647 - an increase of 10% on the 2016 population count.
The 1,647 was made up of 1,295 living in Tokelau and 352 who were usually part of the resident population but were absent from Tokelau on the night of the count in December 2019.
The 352 who were absent was made up of 62 Tokelau Public Service (TPS) employees and their immediate families based in Apia, and 290 people who normally live in Tokelau but were overseas.
The 2019 population of 1,647 was an increase from the 2016 population base of 1,499. The breakdown for each atoll was:
Atafu: 541 (2016) - 548 (2019)
Fakaofo: 506 (2016) - 568 (2019)
Nukunonu: 452 (2016) - 531 (2019)
However, the largest population of Tokelauans resides in New Zealand, with 8,676 based on the 2018 New Zealand census data.
Wellington is home to the most Tokelauans with 4,185, followed by Auckland at 2,406. The 2018 census also found that there had been a significant drop in ethnic Tokelau language speakers from 37% in 2006 to 23% in 2018.
Graphic opposite reproduced from illustration provided by Ministry for Pacific Peoples.
The major period of Tokelauan migration to New Zealand happened in the 1960s. In subsequent decades population growth in the Tokelauan community was due to fertility rather than migration as show in this graphic by Te Ara.
The percentage increase of the Tokelau population between 2013 and 2018 was significant as more Tokelauans were born in New Zealand.
Tokelau Language (2012)
In 2012 Tagata Pasifika reported on the status of Tokelau language, speaking with members of the Tokelauan community in Wellington.
As the New Zealand-born Tokelauan population grew, so too did the importance of Tokelau language. The statistics below were from New Zealand Census information and the graphics were reproduced from illustrations produced by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.
NZ Census Gap (2018)
About 700,000 people were missed by the 2018 - some not completing the Census at all and some only partially completing it. Statistics NZ had to get additional robust data. BERL explains the impact of the Census gap and why good quality data is the foundation for good quality, data -ed research.