Business people taking notes.

Student Loan January – December 2020

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 December Annual change
2018 2019 2020 2018–19 2019–20
17 years and younger 574 429 411 -25.3% -4.2%
18–24 years 101,271 96,916 95,278 -4.3% -1.7%
25–34 years 32,593 31,870 33,024 -2.2% 3.6%
35–44 years 12,323 12,309 12,854 -0.1% 4.4%
45–54 years 6,442 6,291 6,031 -2.3% -4.1%
55 years and older 1,405 1,414 1,307 0.6% -7.6%
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 154,608 149,229 148,905 -3.5% -0.2%

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

Number of borrowers by gender

Gender January to December Annual change
2018 2019 2020 2018–19 2019–20
Female 94,901 92,243 92,866 -2.8% 0.7%
Male 59,707 56,969 55,687 -4.6% -2.3%
Gender Diverse 0 17 352
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 154,608 149,229 148,905 -3.5% -0.2%

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 December Annual change
2018 2019 2020 2018–19 2019–20
Citizen by birth 116,058 111,539 111,469 -3.9% -0.1%
Citizen 22,438 22,247 22,594 -0.9% 1.6%
Permanent resident 15,705 15,014 14,410 -4.4% -4.0%
Other 407 429 432 5.4% 0.7%
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 154,608 149,229 148,905 -3.5% -0.2%

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 December Annual change
2018 2019 2020 2018–19 2019–20
European 97,840 92,565 90,608 -5.4% -2.1%
Māori 29,349 27,557 27,491 -6.1% -0.2%
Asian 23,761 23,475 23,332 -1.2% -0.6%
Pacific peoples 15,743 15,042 15,024 -4.5% -0.1%
Other 5,255 5,202 5,181 -1.0% -0.4%
Not declared 5,286 7,364 9,497 39.3% 29.0%
Total number of Student Loan borrowers 154,608 149,229 148,905 -3.5% -0.2%