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The Auckland CBD (the Central Business District, sometimes referred to as 'Central City' or 'Downtown', and as the 'City Centre' in recent planning documents) is the geographical and economic heart of the Auckland metropolitan area. Bounded by several major motorways and by the harbour coastline in the north, it is surrounded further out by mostly suburban areas. It is one of the most densely built-up areas of New Zealand.
Residential high-density buildings constructed within the last decade have helped to increase the population actually living in the CBD to around 40,000 (2010 estimate) from earlier 16,000 (2004 estimate), all being a massive growth from only 1,400 in 1991. Much of this growth has been driven by immigration to New Zealand. Also striking is the high number of students (both tertiary education and overseas students studying English in one of the many institutes), making up 27% of all residents (2001 Census) and contributing to the relative youth of the city residents.
With increasing population, available services have also changed - from only about one superette in the early 2000s, this has ballooned to one supermarket and 38 superettes by 2011. In early 2012, two major supermarket chains opened a branch in the city centre, with Countdown opening on Victoria Street in January and New World opening a branch on Queen Street in early March.However, the population remains highly focused on ethnically diverse, mostly young and childless residents.