Net migration hit 56,800 in the April year; lowest number of migrants to Australia since 1992

The number of new immigrants is continuing to hit record highs.

Statistics New Zealand reports that in the 12 months to April a fresh record of 56,813 net migrants was recorded, which is several hundred more than the previous record set only a month earlier.

In the month of April New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 4,700 migrants.

Net migration has been fluctuating around this level for the past six months – though the latest figure is well down on the peak seasonally-adjusted rise of 5,460 recorded in January, which suggests that the current cycle could be near its peak. Economists are expecting the annual net migration figures to hit a top of about 60,000 before starting to recede.

New Zealand’s annual natural population growth (IE births minus deaths) is only in about the 30,000-40,000 range.

With about half of all new migrants generally believed to settle in Auckland, the continuing surge is putting increasing pressure on Auckland’s already super-heated housing market. For the record, the detailed regional Stats NZ figures suggest that about 26,000 (IE slightly less than half of the country’s total) net migrants were settled in the country’s largest city in the 12 months to April.

The massive growth in the numbers of net migrants is partly coming from surging numbers of inbound migrants – which hit a new record high in the year – and partly from fewer Kiwis going abroad, particularly to Australia.

In fact during April, for the first time since 1991, this country actually had a net inflow of migrants from Australia (which would of course include Kiwis coming home).

Statistics NZ says that there was a net inflow of 100 migrants from Australia. Since the records of flows between here and Australia began being recorded in 1982, the highest ever monthly inflow of migrants from Australia to here has been just 400, which was recorded in two months during 1983.

The net loss of 1900 people to Australia in the April 2015 year was the smallest since 1992.

In terms of the annual net gain of migrants of 56,800 in the April 2015 year, this was well up from 34,400 in the April 2014 year, and 4,800 in the April 2013 year.

Migrant arrivals reached a new high of 114,400, up 16% from the April 2014 year. Migrant departures numbered 57,600, down 11%.

The biggest net gains of migrants in the April 2015 year were from India (12,200), China (7,800), the United Kingdom (4,600), and the Philippines (4,000). About three-quarters of migrants from India, and half of migrants from China, arrived on student visas.

The monthly numbers of people coming in as permanent residents are actually somewhat lower than they were in the early 2000s – but of course it is not immediately apparent how many people that come in on work or student visas end up later applying for permanent residence.

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand numbered 2.96 million in the April 2015 year, which is the highest-ever annual total, Statistics NZ said. This total was 7% higher than the April 2014 year.

The annual number of visitors from China topped 300,000 for the first time, with the 302,100 visitor arrivals from China in the April 2015 year up some 26% on the previous year.