Earthquake Statistics

The GeoNet project locates between 50 and 80 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year.



Frequency of New Zealand Earthquakes (1960 to 2016)
Magnitude Annual Average Minimum Maximum "In general"
4.0 - 4.9352.051241,1781 per day
5.0 - 5.927.2661092 per month
6.0 - 6.91.63073 per 2 years
7.0 - 7.90.26021 per 4 years
8.0 or over0001 per century*

* Based on geological investigations and historical record of earthquakes.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program displays Worldwide Earthquake Facts and Statistics, located by the USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC). This includes a table illustrating the relationship between changing magnitude, and ground motion and energy.

The following statistics on the frequency and magnitude of New Zealand region1 earthquakes are based on observations since 1960. Statistical analysis was restricted to earthquakes with a magnitude greater than or equal to 4.0, as the geometry of the recording networks in the earlier years was not capable of detecting every earthquake lower than this magnitude.

1 Between latitudes 50°S and 32°S and longitudes 163°E and 185°W

Number of Earthquakes in the New Zealand Region (1960 to 2016)
Year 4.0 - 4.9 5.0 - 5.9 6.0 - 6.9 7.0 - 7.9 8.0 or over Total
196021331300247
196112416300143
196216713000180
19631446100151
196416812200182
196514414400162
196616216000178
196717013000183
196842231110455
196928410100295
197026317100281
197119219100212
197217514000189
197322920100250
197431026100337
197523122000253
197632527200354
197724623200271
19782076000213
197929227110321
198021220000232
198124818100267
198226114000275
198325215000267
198450844200554
198561449400667
198624517100263
198733431100366
198832943200374
198930313200318
199034420400368
199133523200360
199241425100440
199353938400581
199456144200607
19951,1781094101,292
199633822100361
199753136120570
199841221110435
199935729110388
200035221100374
200182539110866
200235722000379
200354238210583
20042737010281
200524919000268
200623710000247
200726712410284
200824816000264
200955847310609
201038928010418
201145731400492
201246345200510
201338440400428
201434437600387
201544946100496
20168901027201,001
Total20,0671,5549315021,729