Business people taking notes.

Student Loan January – March 2021

For this report, a student is defined as a person who received at least one payment from StudyLink between the start of the calendar year and the end of the specified reporting month.

The data in this report are cumulative year-to-date figures. All percentages are computed using actual data and rounded to the nearest one decimal point. The total percentages may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding effects. The last three years of data and annual comparisons are presented in summary tables. Earlier timeseries are included in the downloadable spreadsheets.


Demographics of Student Loan Borrowers

Number of borrowers by age group

Age shown is at the end of the period.

Age group January to March Annual change
2019 2020 2021 2019–20 2020–21
17 years and younger 1,295 1,144 1,207 -11.7% 5.5%
18–24 years 85,226 81,969 83,434 -3.8% 1.8%
25–34 years 20,988 20,082 22,027 -4.3% 9.7%
35–44 years 8,043 7,775 8,186 -3.3% 5.3%
45–54 years 4,005 3,695 3,651 -7.7% -1.2%
55 years and older 712 667 592 -6.3% -11.2%
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 120,269 115,332 119,097 -4.1% 3.3%

Note: Details of “55 years and older” are available in the downloadable Excel file.

Number of borrowers by gender

Gender January to March Annual change
2019 2020 2021 2019–20 2020–21
Female 74,323 71,654 75,356 -3.6% 5.2%
Male 45,946 43,547 43,309 -5.2% -0.5%
Gender Diverse 0 131 432 229.8%
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 120,269 115,332 119,097 -4.1% 3.3%

Note: In December 2019, forms and online applications were updated to include three gender options – Female, Male and Gender Diverse.


Number of borrowers by residential status

Residential status January to March Annual change
2019 2020 2021 2019–20 2020–21
Citizen by birth 90,048 86,352 89,253 -4.1% 3.4%
Citizen 18,283 17,919 18,635 -2.0% 4.0%
Permanent resident 11,643 10,762 10,918 -7.6% 1.4%
Other 295 299 291 1.4% -2.7%
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 120,269 115,332 119,097 -4.1% 3.3%

Note: “Other” includes students who have refugee status, and those classified as protected persons. Details of “Other” are included in the downloadable Excel file.


Number of responses by ethnic group

It is not mandatory for students to disclose their ethnicity and students may report more than one ethnicity.

The numbers presented in this table are total responses – students who reported more than one ethnic group were counted in each group they identified with. The total number of responses, therefore, does not add up to the total number of Student Loan borrowers.

Ethnic group (Total response) January to March Annual change
2019 2020 2021 2019–20 2020–21
European 77,177 72,368 76,917 -6.2% 6.3%
Māori 20,167 18,734 19,533 -7.1% 4.3%
Asian 19,477 18,876 19,556 -3.1% 3.6%
Pacific peoples 10,940 10,422 10,956 -4.7% 5.1%
Other 3,992 3,901 4,063 -2.3% 4.2%
Not declared 5,836 7,799 6,162 33.6% -21.0%
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 120,269 115,332 119,097 -4.1% 3.3%