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 2020)
Magnitude Annual Average Minimum Maximum "In general"
4.0 - 4.9355.91241,178 1 per day
5.0 - 5.929.2861092 per month
6.0 - 6.91.66093 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](https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/lists-maps-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 2021)
Year 4.0 - 4.9 5.0 - 5.9 6.0 - 6.9 7.0 - 7.9 8.0 or over Total
1960 213 31 3 0 0 247
1961 124 16 3 0 0 143
1962 167 13 0 0 0 180
1963 144 6 1 0 0 151
1964 168 12 2 0 0 182
1965 144 14 4 0 0 162
1966 162 16 0 0 0 178
1967 170 13 0 0 0 183
1968 422 31 1 1 0 455
1969 284 10 1 0 0 295
1970 263 17 1 0 0 281
1971 192 19 1 0 0 212
1972 175 14 0 0 0 189
1973 229 20 1 0 0 250
1974 310 26 1 0 0 337
1975 231 22 0 0 0 253
1976 325 27 2 0 0 354
1977 246 23 2 0 0 271
1978 207 6 0 0 0 213
1979 292 27 1 1 0 321
1980 212 20 0 0 0 232
1981 248 18 1 0 0 267
1982 261 14 0 0 0 275
1983 252 15 0 0 0 267
1984 508 44 2 0 0 554
1985 614 49 4 0 0 667
1986 245 17 1 0 0 263
1987 334 31 1 0 0 366
1988 329 43 2 0 0 374
1989 303 13 2 0 0 318
1990 344 20 4 0 0 368
1991 335 23 2 0 0 360
1992 414 25 1 0 0 440
1993 539 38 4 0 0 581
1994 561 44 2 0 0 607
1995 1,178 109 4 1 0 1,292
1996 338 22 1 0 0 361
1997 531 36 1 2 0 570
1998 412 21 1 1 0 435
1999 357 29 1 1 0 388
2000 352 21 1 0 0 374
2001 825 39 1 1 0 866
2002 357 22 0 0 0 379
2003 542 38 2 1 0 583
2004 273 7 0 1 0 281
2005 249 19 0 0 0 268
2006 237 10 0 0 0 247
2007 267 12 4 1 0 284
2008 248 16 0 0 0 264
2009 558 47 3 1 0 609
2010 389 28 0 1 0 418
2011 457 31 4 0 0 492
2012 463 45 2 0 0 510
2013 384 40 4 0 0 428
2014 344 37 6 0 0 387
2015 449 46 1 0 0 496
2016 880 106 9 2 0 997
2017 385 31 1 0 0 417
2018 278 30 3 0 0 311
2019 424 69 1 0 0 494
2020 566 98 1 1 0 666
2021 12 4 0 0 0 16
Total 21,722 1,790 101 16 0 23,629