Population growth from migration breaks all previous records in July

Population growth from migration is now running at its highest level ever, with a net population gain from migration of 59,639 people in the year to July, according to Statistics NZ.

There was a net gain of 6525 migrants July which was also a record for the month.

Net migration (the number of people arriving here on a long term basis minus those leaving long term) has increased hugely in the last two years, rising from 10,569 in the year to July 2013, to 41,043 in the year to July 2014 to 59,639 in the current year.

The biggest source countries for the net gain in migrants for the year were India (12,566) followed by China and Hong Kong (8,864), The Philippines (4461) and the UK (3978).

Approximately three quarters of long term arrivals from India were on student visas, with most of those likely to be on what is referred to as a “pathway to residency” which gives students who have studied here extra points towards qualifying for residency once they have finished studying. 

The latest figures show that migration is increasing this country’s population by 1146 people a week, which is likely to add to housing and other infrastructure pressures in Auckland where an estimated 60% of new migrants settle.

“There is clearly no sign yet that migration is slowing,” Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck said in a First Impressions newsletter on the figures.

“The implications for the wider economy are deeply ambiguous,” he said.

“On the one hand, rapid population growth is adding to demand for housing and related construction activity, particularly in Auckland.

“But the influx of migrants is also boosting the supply of available labour, which means higher unemployment and softer wage inflation in the short term.

“The combination of weaker economic growth and continued strong population growth is one reason why we believe the Reserve Bank will have to provide significant further interest rate support to meet its inflation target.”

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