New Zealand’s population grew 2% in the year to September, equivalent to 90,600 people, which is the fastest growth rate since Statistics New Zealand started tracking population estimates in 1991.
Statistics NZ estimates the country’s population hit 4,622,200 at September 30, an increase of 90,600 from 4,531,600 a year earlier. An increase of 2% over 12 months has only been reached once before, during the 12 months to June 2003 when the population swelled by 78,700 to 4,027,200.
Technically, however, the spike this year is slightly higher coming in at 1.999% versus 1.993% in 2003. And the annual population growth of 90,600 is the biggest in the Statistics NZ series.
The population surge comes off the back of record net migration, which hit a record high of 61,234 in the year to September 2015. The annual gain in permanent and long-term migrants has been setting new records for more than a year, helping add to pressures in the Auckland housing market given the lion’s share of new arrivals set up home in Auckland.