Migration hits new high led by growth from China, India and Australia

Population growth from migration surged to a new all time high of 62,477 people in the year to October, the fifteenth month in a row that a new record has been set for the annual gain in net migration.

There was a net gain of 7614 in October, which was also a record for any October month.

The net gain of 62,477 in the year to October came from 120,123 permanent and long arrivals less 57,646 permanent and long term departures.

That compares with net gains of 47,684 in the year to October 2014 and 17,490 in the year to October 2013.

The biggest growth came from India, which provided a net gain of 13,117 in the year to October compared to 9512 in the 12 months to October 2014 and 5215 in the year to October 2013.

That was followed by migrants from China which provided a net gain of 8606 (plus 697 from Kong Kong) in the year to October, the Philippines 4863 and the UK 3672.

There has been a huge turnaround in migration to and from Australia which provided a net gain of 88 in the year to October compared to a net loss of -5311 in the same period last year and a net loss of -23,493 in the year to October 2013.

The migration gain of 88 people from Australia was the first annual gain from that country since 1991.

In the year to October, 30,156 New Zealand citizens arrived back in this country on a long term basis, while 35,345 departed long term, giving a net loss of 5189 New Zealand citizens over the 12 months.

In the same period, 89,967 non-New Zealand citizens arrived long term and 22,301 departed long term, giving a net gain of 67,666 non-NZ citizens for the year.

The increased migrant numbers will put further pressure on Auckland’s already stretched housing market, with a net 29,010 new migrants intending to live in Auckland, however the actual number that settle in the city is likely to be much higher because a net 14,874 migrants did not state where they intended to live when they arrived and many of them are also likely to settle in Auckland.

Of the 120,123 people in total who arrived in the year to October, the biggest number (36,760) arrived on work visas, followed 35,656 Australian and NZ citizens, 27,480 on student visas and 13,903 on residency visas.

However many of the people arriving on work and student visas go on to apply for permanent residency once they are here, but will have already been included in the long term arrival numbers.

“Ongoing low departures and strength in arrivals will cause New Zealand’s annual population growth rate to reach its highest level since 1974,” Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod said in a First Impressions newsletter on the figures.

“High population growth is helping to maintain a reasonable rate of GDP growth, but at the same time the preponderance of people in the labour market is keeping wage growth lower than it would otherwise be.”