There were now 1.1 million families in New Zealand, according to 2013 Census data.
“Couples without children make up just over 40 per cent of all family types, up from 35 per cent in 1991,” Census customer focus manager Gareth Meech said.
“Couples with children are still the most common family type, but the proportion of these families continues to fall.”
Since 2006, the rise in the number of couples without children was almost double that of couples with children.
Marlborough was the only region where over half (53.2 per cent) of the families were couples without children, which reflected the older age structure of people in these families in this region, Mr Meech said.