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Bethlehem, New Zealand facts for kids

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Quick facts for kids
Country New Zealand
Local authority Tauranga
Electoral ward Otumoetai/Pyes Pa
 • Total 8,634
(Tauranga Harbour) Bellevue
Te Puna
Tauriko Gate Pa

Bethlehem is a suburb of Tauranga in New Zealand's North Island. Originally a small independent town, it has now been absorbed by Tauranga and comprises a number of subdivisions including Bethlehem Heights, Sterling Gate, La Cumbre, Saint Andrews, and Mayfield.

It is situated on State Highway 2, and has amenities such as the Bethlehem Town Centre shopping centre.


Bethlehem Town Centre

Bethlehem Town Centre is a shopping area covering 20,000 m². It has 1000 carparks and about 50 retailers, including Kmart, Countdown and Smiths City.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 5,556 —    
2013 7,050 +3.46%
2018 8,634 +4.14%

Bethlehem North, comprising the statistical areas of Bethlehem North, Bethlehem Central and Bethlehem South, had a population of 8,634 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 1,584 people (22.5%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 3,078 people (55.4%) since the 2006 census. There were 3,228 households. There were 4,044 males and 4,593 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.88 males per female, with 1,473 people (17.1%) aged under 15 years, 1,068 (12.4%) aged 15 to 29, 3,369 (39.0%) aged 30 to 64, and 2,724 (31.5%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 85.8% European/Pākehā, 10.8% Māori, 1.5% Pacific peoples, 8.3% Asian, and 1.3% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 24.7%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 40.2% had no religion, 49.0% were Christian, 0.7% were Hindu, 0.2% were Muslim, 0.7% were Buddhist and 2.7% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,569 (21.9%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 1,206 (16.8%) people had no formal qualifications. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 2,694 (37.6%) people were employed full-time, 1,053 (14.7%) were part-time, and 177 (2.5%) were unemployed.

Individual statistical areas
Name Population Median age Median income
Bethlehem North 3,429 58.1 years $28,100
Bethlehem Central 4,119 48.4 years $33,300
Bethlehem South 1,086 44.9 years $41,800
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800


Bethlehem Campus

The local Bethlehem Campus includes several Christian educational institutions on a single site.

Bethlehem College is a co-educational state-integrated school for Year 1 to 13 students. with a roll of 2,005 as of February 2024.

In January 2013 a van of Bethlehem College students and former students crashed in a small village in Kenya, while they were on a volunteer mission at Ark Quest Academy. Student Caitlin Dickson was killed, as were married couple Brian and Grace Johnston. Kenyan bus driver Christopher Mmata was also killed.

Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, formerly the Bethlehem Institute of Education, is a tertiary institution offering Degrees and Diplomas in teaching, social work and counselling and a Master of Professional Practice. Over 400 students are enrolled and students may study either onsite with a 'flipped classroom' approach or through innovative distance learning. The academy was founded in 1988 as a primary school with 100 students, and has expanded since to offer secondary and tertiary education.

Notable former students include Kiri Allan (Member of Parliament), David Farrier (journalist and actor), Michael Ashton (makeup artist), Sam Tanner (1500m athlete) and Mika Vukona (professional basketball player).

Other schools

Bethlehem has three other schools.

Bethlehem School is a co-educational state primary school, with a roll of 374.

Tauranga Adventist School is a co-educational state-integrated Seventh-day Adventist primary school, with a roll of 116.

Te Wharekura o Mauao is a co-educational state secondary school, with a roll of 269.

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