Population gain from migration 15 times higher than 4 years ago in April year, but is the migration gain peaking?

Population growth from migration is continuing at record levels, with a net gain of 71,885 in the 12 months to April, a record for that 12 month period, according to Statistics NZ.

That compares with a net gain of 68,110 in the 12 months to April 2016, 56,813 in the 12 months to April 2015, 34,366 in the 12 months to April 2014, and just 4776 in the 12 months to April 2013.

That means population growth from migration has more than doubled in the last three years and is 15 times higher than it was four years ago.

However there is a tentative sign that the growth of recent years may have peaked, with a net gain of 3406 in the month of April, slightly down from the net gain of 3453 in April last year.

April is usually one of the slowest months for migration, with the bottom of the cycle usually occurring around May, before numbers start rising again in the second half of the year.

The high net gain figure came from 129,779 people who arrived in the country on a long term basis in the year to April, which was a record for that period, while 57,894 people departed these shores permanently or long term, giving a net gain of 71,885.

The biggest source countries were China and Hong Kong with a net gain of 11,060 in the 12 months to April, followed by India 7792, the UK 6439, South Africa 4749, and the Philippines 4532.

And more New Zealanders are leaving the country permanently or long term than are arriving back, with a net loss of 1406 New Zealand citizens in the 12 months to April and a net gain of 73,209 citizens form other countries.

Of the 129,779 people in total who arrived in this country permanently or long term in the 12 months to April, 43,991 were on work visas, 38,099 were NZ or Australian citizens, 23,869 were on student visas (which will usually also allow them to work in this country), and 16,678 were on residency visas (which would also usually allow them to work here).

Auckland remains the biggest destination for migrants by a substantial margin, with 74% of those who stated where they would be living in this country saying it would be Auckland.

That means Auckland’s population probably increased by about 50,000 over the 12 months months to April, purely from net migration, and that figure does not take into account any growth from people moving to Auckland from other parts of the country or the natural increase in population that occurs from births exceeding deaths.

That will put further strain on resources such as housing, transport and other infrastructure in the region, which are already under significant stress.

Net long term migration

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