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Three in ten Year 11-13 students want the legal vaping age to be lowered – but a similar number want it pushed even higher.

31% of the 2,678 senior students surveyed wanted the age for buying vaping products to be decreased, but 27% wanted it increased.

The insight comes from CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura, a non-profit, online educational project that brings statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. Supervised by teachers, students from Years 3-13 anonymously answer 34 questions in English or te reo Māori on digital devices. The project is run by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Stats NZ.

This year, more than 19,000 students from 400 schools have taken part to date. Year 11-13 students (aged 15-18) were asked a series of additional questions, including “At what age do you think it should be legal to do the following? a) Drive b) Vote c) Buy alcohol d) Vape”. The results for the senior students taking part to date showed that 65% agreed with the legal driving age, 52% agreed with the legal voting age, 55% agreed with the legal age to buy alcohol, and 41% agreed with the legal age to buy vaping products. In addition, 27% wanted the legal voting age to be lowered to 16.

CensusAtSchool schools advisor Anne Patel says, “It is a good sign that 27% want the legal age for buying vaping products to be even older than it already is at 18. Young people need leadership from people they look up to who acknowledge and confront problems they’re facing, with the students themselves being drivers of the solutions.”

The senior students were also asked how they feel about the future. They were able to choose a range of options on a scale from ‘very positive’ to ‘very negative’. 8% felt very positive, 30% felt positive, 40% felt neutral, and 15% felt negative, and 7% felt very negative. Figures were similar for both Māori and New Zealand Europeans.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe says that this is a positive message for young people with everything going on in the world today.

The findings correspond with a Colmar Brunton/NZME survey in February and March of 1,000 adults in New Zealand which showed 42% felt that overall, things will improve in the next 12 months.

In other findings for the Year 11-13 students surveyed:

  • 61% said they felt included at school always or very often, 31% said sometimes, and a further 8% said they rarely or never felt included at school.
  • 57% said they did no paid work at a part-time job in the past week. 13% said they did up to 5 hours, 13% said 5 to 10 hours, and 13% said 10 to 20 hours. The remaining 4% said they did 20 or more hours of paid work at a part-time job in the past week.

CensusAtSchool runs every two years. This year’s census, the tenth, was launched on May 10 and runs until the end of 2022. More than 19,000 students from 400 schools have taken part to date.

See the questions, which schools are taking part, and a live dashboard of results on CensusAtSchool’s website.

Seven out of ten New Zealand school students say that learning at home was the same or better during lockdown compared to learning in school normally, the latest results of a nationwide survey suggests.

The insight comes from CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura, a non-profit, online educational project that brings statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. Supervised by teachers, students from Years 3-13 anonymously answer 34 questions in English or te reo Māori on digital devices.

This data comes from the first 13,431 students to complete the survey. This year, students were asked how they felt about learning at home during lockdown compared to learning in school normally. Overall, seven out of ten students felt that their learning at home was either better, or the same, as learning in school. The numbers were slightly lower for those studying towards their NCEA qualifications; 64% for Year 11, 59% for Year 12, and 51% for Year 13 students.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe says that this insight is valuable for students, parents, schools, and the wider educational system.

“Our students today are digital natives and reflect on their lockdown learning as largely a positive experience. This indicates their adaptability and enjoyment of online distance learning.”

The length of screentime that students say they get after they get home from school has slightly increased since the last time CensusAtSchool was run in 2019. High school students now spend a median of three and a half hours on their phone, computer, tablet, TV, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, and the like – but a quarter spent five and a quarter hours or more in front of a screen.

In other findings, 42% of students say they often get their news from social media including YouTube. This figure was higher than all other forms of media asked about, including TV (32%), Google or other search engines (26%), news websites or apps (17%), radio (16%), podcasts (5%), and only 5% from print publications such as newspapers and magazines.

The survey also asked students about their social media usage in the past week. 82% said that they had watched YouTube compared with only 16% who had used Facebook. TikTok came in second with 53%, Instagram on 45%, and followed closely by Snapchat on 44%.

In the battle of video games, 37% played Minecraft in the past week, compared with 31% for Roblox and only 16% played Fortnite.

In other findings, the top 10 favourite animated movies are:

  1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train
  2. The Lion King
  3. Cars
  4. Shrek
  5. Raya and the Last Dragon
  6. The Simpsons Movie
  7. The Mitchells vs. the Machines
  8. Frozen II
  9. Moana
  10. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


CensusAtSchool runs every two years. This year’s census, the tenth, was launched on May 10 and runs until the end of 2022. During that time, more than 30,000 school students are expected to participate. 2,173 teachers from 1,094 schools have already registered.
See the questions, which schools are taking part, and a live dashboard of results on CensusAtSchool’s website: www.censusatschool.org.nz.

CensusAtSchool NZ is hosted by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in association with Stats NZ and the Ministry of Education.

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, Canada, the United States, Japan, and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa celebrates the launch of their tenth biennial survey today to once again comprehensively chart children’s views of their own lives. The large national survey will give another intriguing glimpse into school children’s lives.

Thousands of primary, intermediate, and secondary school students around the country will share their views on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, the amount of time they spend on digital devices, where young people get their news from, and how they felt about lockdown learning. Senior students will be asked to also share their own attitudes to when they think it should be legal to drive, vote, buy alcohol, and vape.

The students are taking part in CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa, a non-profit, online educational project that aims to bring statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. It is run by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Stats NZ.

Supervised by teachers, students from years 3-13 anonymously answer questions in English or te reo Māori on digital devices. Some questions involve practical activities such as measuring the length of their feet and weighing their laden school bags. 

The tenth biennial edition of CensusAtSchool is expected to have the highest number of schools, teachers, and students participating. More than 30,000 schoolchildren are expected to participate in CensusAtSchool this year. As of launch this morning, approximately 1,800 teachers from almost 1,000 schools had already registered – the highest figures ever. 

Co-director Rachel Cunliffe says, “We’re passionate about getting real, relevant data about New Zealand students into their hands so that they can grow their data science superpower skills.”

Rachel Cunliffe, a former University of Auckland statistics lecturer who now runs a digital design company, says teachers are always looking for rich cross-curricular classroom activities.

Professor Chris Wild, statistics education expert and co-director says, “The students experience the whole statistical cycle – they complete the survey and then use statistical methods to explore the data and tell the stories in it. It helps students see the importance of statistics in today’s world – and they love finding out what other students are thinking and doing.”

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, Canada, the United States, Japan, and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

Preview the questions and see which schools are taking part on CensusAtSchool’s website: www.censusatschool.org.nz

CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa celebrates the launch of their tenth biennial survey next month to once again comprehensively chart children’s views of their own lives.

From May 10, the voice of Kiwi students will be heard on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, the amount of time they spend on digital devices, and their own attitudes to when they think it should be legal to drive, vote, buy alcohol, and vape.

New to the survey in 2021 is a question that explores where young people get their news from and how they felt about lockdown learning.

The survey now includes improved bi-lingual support with the ability to toggle between English and te reo Māori.

Another new feature includes an audio option for the English questionnaire to support students with reading difficulties.

CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa, is a non-profit, online educational project that aims to bring statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. Supervised by teachers, students from Years 3-13 anonymously answer 34 questions in English or te reo Māori, and later explore the results in class. CensusAtSchool runs every two years, and in 2019, more than 32,000 students took part, representing approximately 500 schools and 1,000 teachers.

You can preview the questions here. See the registered schools.

CensusAtSchool is a collaborative project involving teachers, the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics, Stats NZ, and the Ministry of Education.

It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the US, Japan, and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

In New Zealand, CensusAtSchool is co-directed by Prof Chris Wild of the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland and Rachel Cunliffe, a former lecturer in the department who owns web design studio cre8d design and is a commentator on youth culture and online communications. She is the principal media spokesperson for CensusAtSchool and can be contacted at census@stat.auckland.ac.nz or phone 027 3833 746. A high-quality, copyright-free photo of Rachel is available for download here.

Key dates:

  • May 10: CensusAtSchool survey goes live and schools start taking part.
  • May 24*: Interesting initial statistics from the survey data released to media.
  • May 31*: Second release of statistics from the survey data released to media.

* Date dependent on response rate

Smoking cigarettes is worse teenage behaviour than smoking marijuana, according to Year 11-13 students from New Zealand schools. Furthermore, they think that their parents would agree with them.

The insight comes from CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura, a non-profit, online educational project that brings statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. Supervised by teachers, students from Years 5-13 anonymously answer 30 questions in English or te reo Māori on digital devices. The project is run by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in partnership with the Ministry of Education and StatsNZ.

This year, more than 2,840 Year 11-13 students (aged 15-18) only were asked: How wrong do you think it is for someone your age to a) drink alcohol b) smoke tobacco cigarettes; c) smoke e-cigarettes d) smoke marijuana. They were able to choose a range of options on a scale from ‘not at all wrong’ to ‘very wrong’. The results showed that 61% of students felt that it was very wrong for people their age to smoke cigarettes, followed by smoking marijuana (52%), smoking e-cigarettes (44%), and drinking alcohol (22%).

Students were also asked how their parents/caregivers would feel about them doing the same things. The results were smoking cigarettes (81% of students felt that parents would consider this very wrong); marijuana (76%); e-cigarettes (69%) and alcohol (33%).

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe says that the finding that smoking cigarettes, which is legal, was rated as worse behaviour than smoking marijuana, which is illegal for recreational use, was surprising. “Our figures can’t tell us why students perceived smoking cigarettes as worse than smoking marijuana,” she says. “However, we can speculate that it has something to do with what they see and hear around them and changing societal attitudes.” 

For example, New Zealand has had an anti-smoking law since 1990, which has discouraged and denormalised smoking for all of these students’ lives and most of their parents’ existence. Twenty-five years ago, one in four people aged 15 or over smoked daily; today, the tally is 13%. 

In contrast, although marijuana is illegal, it is the most-used illicit drug in New Zealand, with researchers estimating that by the age of 21, around 80% of young people will have used marijuana at least once. Pressure to legalise marijuana for recreational use has built to the extent that New Zealanders will choose whether or not to legalise and regulate it in a referendum alongside the general election next year.  

In other findings:

  • The older teens became, the less likely they were to see drinking alcohol as a bad thing for people their age to do. In Year 11, 28% of students saw drinking alcohol as very wrong. By Year 13, that figure was 12%. 
  • As students aged, they perceived that their caregivers relaxed over the issue of them drinking as well. One in two Year 11 students (42%) felt that their parents would see drinking alcohol as a bad thing for people their age to do. By Year 13, that figure was one in six (17%).  
  • However, this was not the case with cigarettes, with less of a drop as students aged. In Year 11, 65% felt that cigarette smoking by their age group was very wrong, compared to 55% in Year 13. 
  • The figures for perceived parental attitudes towards teens smoking cigarettes did not drop much with age. A total of 82% of Year 11s said their parents would view their age group smoking as very wrong, compared to 79% of Year 13 students.

CensusAtSchool runs every two years. This year’s census, the ninth, was launched on March 4. More than 23,000 students from 458 schools have taken part to date. See if your local school has participated here.  

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

One in three New Zealand high-school students say they spend too much time on social media, the latest results of a nationwide survey reveal.   

The insight comes from CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura, a non-profit, online educational project that brings statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. Supervised by teachers, students from Years 5-13 anonymously answer 30 questions in English or te reo Māori on digital devices.

This data comes from the first 12,000 students to complete the census. This year, students were asked whether the time they spent on social media accounts was about right, too little or too much. Overall, one in three high-school students felt that their use of social media was excessive. This was highest among girls, with 40% spending too much time on social media, compared with just 20% for boys.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe says that the findings suggest that students are well aware of public discussion about the drawbacks of social media. “Connecting with peers is important to young people, and they seem to know about the pros and cons of using social media. The fact they’re reflecting on their own use of social media is a good thing.”  

In other findings, one in three boys in primary school (33%) and secondary school (30%) believe that their time spent playing video games is excessive. However, 45% of primary girls and 65% of high-school girls said they don’t get enough time playing video games.    

In other findings:

  • Facebook has fallen from favour with younger high-school students, with Instagram taking its place. In 2011, 80% of Year 9 students had a Facebook profile. This steadily declined to 33% in 2019. Now, 78% of Year 9 students have Instagram, up from 66% in 2015.
  • 49% of high schoolers with a phone say that they always or often check for messages and notifications as soon as they wake up in the morning.
  • Half of high-school students say a weekend without their phone would make them feel angry, anxious, frustrated, sad, or lonely. Students could choose from as many as applied from angry, anxious, frustrated, happy, lonely, relieved, sad, neutral, and other. A total of 12% chose angry, 15% chose anxious, 14% chose lonely, 14% chose sad, and 24% said that they would feel frustrated.

CensusAtSchool runs every two years. This year’s census, the ninth, was launched on March 4 and runs until July 5. During that time, up to 30,000 school children are expected to participate. More than 1,990 teachers from 906 schools have registered; see if your local school is taking part here.  

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

Nearly half of Kiwi students taking part in a nationwide in-school census believe that climate change “is an urgent problem that needs to be managed now”.

Students aged from 9 to 18 (Year 5 to Year 13) taking part in the statistics education project CensusAtSchool, or TataurangaKiTeKura in te reo Māori, were asked to choose an option that best described their opinion on climate change. A total of 44% of the students selected the statement that climate change was “an urgent problem that needs to be managed now”.

A total of 17% of all participants chose the statement that climate change was “a problem that needs to be managed in the future”. Just 10% believed that climate change was “not a problem”, and 29% either didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.

High-school students felt the most acute sense of urgency, with 55% of year 9-13 students agreeing that climate change was “an urgent problem that needs to be managed now”.

The findings, from the first 4,900 students to take part in CensusAtSchool, come as young people prepare for a student ‘strike’ to push for increased government action on climate change. Thousands of New Zealand students will leave school on Friday March 15 to join a day of protest called Student Strike for Climate Action, calling on politicians to act quickly to limit global warming. In New Zealand, more than 25 rallies are due to take place in the four main centres and smaller towns.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe says that every edition of the schools’ census asks topical questions affecting young people. The climate change question in this census was added at the request of teachers last year – well before the current protest action was organised.

“Teachers told us that climate change was an issue for students and they asked for a question so students could see real, relevant data on the issue,” Rachel Cunliffe said. “At present, the only way to get hard data about the opinions and beliefs of New Zealand’s young people is through CensusAtSchool, so we added the question about climate change so young people themselves and the public can see exactly how their generation feels.”

The CensusAtSchool results reflect a nationwide poll of adults aged 18 and over carried out last March by Horizon Research. It found that 64% of adults nationwide believed climate change was a problem, 29% of them saying it was urgent.

CensusAtSchool, which launched on Monday March 4, is a biennial statistics project that shows students how data-science skills reveal the unseen and can be used to make informed decisions about their own lives.

Supervised by teachers, students from Year 5 to Year 13 fill in a digital questionnaire about their activities and opinions, with data returned to teachers for classroom analysis. The figures on climate change come from the first 3,400 students to take part; up to 30,000 students are expected to have their say before the census closes on July 5 this year.

CensusAtSchool started in New Zealand in 2003, and is run by the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics with support from Stats NZ and the Ministry of Education. It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Japan, and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

A large national survey that will give an intriguing glimpse into schoolchildren’s lives launches today. 

Thousands of primary, intermediate and secondary school students around the country will share their views on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, the amount of time they spend on digital devices, and how they handle interpersonal issues. Senior students will be asked to also share their own attitudes and perceived parental attitudes to activities such as drinking and smoking by young people. 

The students are taking part in CensusAtSchool New Zealand, known in te reo Māori as TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa, a non-profit, online educational project that aims to bring statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. It is run by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Stats NZ.

Supervised by teachers, students from years 5-13 anonymously answer questions in English or te reo Māori on digital devices. Some questions involve practical activities such as measuring the length of their right feet and weighing their laden schoolbags. Others will seek their views and experiences on a range of social and personal issues.  

Up to 30,000 schoolchildren are expected to participate in CensusAtSchool this year. By late last night, more than 1,509 teachers from 775 schools had already registered. The census runs until July 5. 

This is the ninth edition of CensusAtSchool, and co-directors Professor Chris Wild and Rachel Cunliffe say that it’s shaping up to be the biggest ever. Professor Wild, an expert in statistics education, says that the project is appealing because it produces data that is relevant and real to students, their friends and families.

“The students experience the whole statistical cycle – they fill in the survey, and then they use statistical methods to explore the data and tell the stories in it,” he says. “It helps students see the benefits of statistics in society – and they love finding out what other kids their own age are thinking and doing.”

Rachel Cunliffe, a former University of Auckland statistics lecturer who now runs a digital design company, says teachers are always looking for cross-curricular activities. CensusAtSchool is a rich resource with its reach across statistics and maths, health, social studies, geography, media studies, technology and science.

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

Press release: May 2, 2017

School tuck shops are losing ground to home-packed lunches, according to latest results from the long-running CensusatSchool TataurangaKiteKura. In the past 10 years, the percentage of students buying lunches from tuck shops has halved.

Overall, 86% of primary and secondary school students brought their lunch from home on the day they responded to the survey, with just 5% buying from the tuck shop. When the same question was asked a decade ago, 79% were bringing lunch from home and 10% buying at their school’s tuck shop.

CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura is a national, biennial project run by the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics that shows children the relevance of statistics to everyday life. In class, Year 5 to Year 13 students (aged 9 to 18) use digital devices to answer 35 online questions in English or te reo Māori, providing a unique snapshot of Kiwi childhoods. So far, more than 10,000 students have taken part, and they have answered several questions on food.

The Census asked “Where did you get your lunch from today?” with the possible answers “home” (overall 86%; primary 93%; high school 78%); “a shop on the way to school” (overall 3%; primary 2%; high school 3%); “the school shop” (overall 5%; primary 3%; high school 7%); “a friend at school” (overall 0.5%; primary 0.2%; high school 1%); “provided by my school” (overall 2%; primary 1%; high school 4%); and “don’t have any” (overall 3.6%; primary 1%; high school 7%).

The backdrop is growing childhood obesity and much public debate over what kids should be eating at school. An Education Review Office report released just before Easter found that most schools were doing a good job equipping young people to make good food choices, but acknowledged that factors such as family finances and attitudes, student price sensitivity and takeaway shops near schools could prevent children bringing or choosing good-quality lunches. Many school-run tuck shops lost money, so schools often contracted out to providers who “were profit-driven, and tended to be most interested in stocking what would sell well; not usually the healthy options”.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe, who has two school-aged children, says that she wonders if public discussions have raised parents’ awareness of the importance of the school lunches they provide, and that this has led to more concerted efforts to provide packed lunches. Mrs Cunliffe makes her two primary school-aged children daily packed lunches, and once a term they are allowed to buy lunch at school: “Of course, they tell me that everyone else gets to buy their lunches all the time.”

The past few years has also brought publicity about some school children going without breakfast or lunch, and Mrs Cunliffe says she was “relieved” that the number of children reporting that they had no lunch was fewer than expected. “That said, you don’t want to think that any students are going hungry,” she says. “I am hoping that the 7% of high-school students not having any lunch is because they didn’t get their act together to prepare it. A packed lunch does take some forethought and preparation.”

The Census also asked children who brought packed lunches how many items grown at home were among the food provided that day. A quarter said they had at least one home-grown item in their lunchbox.

This year’s edition of CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiteKura started on February 7. Teachers can register their classes and take part at any time before it finishes on July 7. The Census is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Africa.

The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made. In New Zealand, the Census started 2003, and is run by the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics with support from Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Education.

Eight in 10 teens and six in 10 primary school children say there are no limits on their screen time out of school – whether that’s playing computer games, using their phones, or browsing the internet.

The insights have emerged from the second data release from CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura, a national, biennial project run by the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics that shows children the relevance of statistics to everyday life. In class, Year 5 to Year 13 students (aged 9 to 18) use digital devices to answer 35 online questions in English or te reo Māori, providing a unique snapshot of Kiwi childhoods. So far, more than 5,700 students have taken part.

Students were asked if, on a school day, there was a limit on the amount of screen time they had at home. Just 16% of high-school students and 37% of primary school students reported a limit. For those with limits, primary schoolers were allowed a median of an hour (the median is the middle amount in the range reported) and secondary students two hours.

Students were asked how often their screen time was supervised – with supervised meaning a parent or caregiver was watching or was in the same room as the child. Four in 10 primary schoolers said “a little,” and two in 10 “usually.” More than half of high school students said they were never supervised, with a further three in 10 saying they were supervised “a little.”

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe, a former statistics lecturer and mother of four children aged 2, 4, 6 and 8, says she is “really surprised” at the results. “I imagined that in this completely wired world, the majority of kids would have limits – parents often discuss ways to find a balance between screen time and outdoor play time.”

Rachel Cunliffe points to Ministry of Health advice that outside of school, 5 to 18-year-olds spend less than two hours a day in front of the television, computers, and game consoles. She and her husband tried setting limits, but with four kids, that was hard to police. “Now, in our house, we have a list of morning, afternoon and evening jobs to be done on school days before the kids are allowed screen time, “ she says.

“By the time they’ve done everything expected of them, and their out-of-school school activities like swimming and karate, there’s not often long periods of time left for gaming. My eight-year-old has been pretty motivated to get through his jobs, and can get in an hour on the Playstation or tablet sometimes.”

So how are other school children using their screen time? Seven in 10 students said they spent time on their phone. Of that group, the most avid users were high school girls with 89% on their phones once school was out, and for a median of three hours – though a quarter spent 5 hours 30 minutes or more.

Four in ten students said they spent time gaming after school, with the keenest gamers high school boys. They spent a median of two hours in front of their Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and the like – but a quarter spent four hours or more gaming.

CensusAtSchool also asked students what they did most often with their cellphones. Primary school boys reported playing games (27%) and primary school girls sending texts or instant messages (32%). At high school, it was all about social media for both girls (49%) and boys (31%).

This year’s edition of CensusAtSchool started on February 7. Teachers can register their classes and take part at any time before it finishes on July 7. CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Africa.

The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.
In New Zealand, CensusAtSchool started 2003, and is run by the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics with support from Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Education.