New Zealand has a population of about 4.5 million. About 80% of the population are of European descent. New Zealanders of European descent are collectively known as Pākehā - this term is used variously and some Māori use it to refer to all non-Māori New Zealanders.
Most European New Zealanders are of British, Irish or Dutch, German, and Italian ancestry. Indigenous Māori people are the largest non-European ethnic group (the percentage of the population of full or part-Māori ancestry is 14.7%; those who checked Māori only are 7.9%). Between the 1996 and 2001 census, the number of people of Asian origin (6.6%) overtook the number of people of Pacific Island origin (6.5%) (Note that the census allowed multiple ethnic affiliations). New Zealand has relatively open immigration policies; its government is committed to increasing its population by about 1% annually. At present, immigrants from the United Kingdom constitute the largest single group (30%) but immigrants are drawn from many nations, and increasingly from East Asia.
Christianity is the predominant religion, although nearly 40% of the population has no religious affiliation. The main Christian denominations are Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, Presbyterianism and Methodism. There are also significant numbers who identify themselves with Pentecostal and Baptist churches and with the LDS (Mormon) church. The New Zealand-based Ratana church has many adherents among Māori. According to census figures, other significant minority religions include Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Spiritualism and New Age religions.