Record arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens push population growth from migration to yet another all time high

Population growth from migration is continuing to break records, with the net migration gain hitting an all time high of 72,305 in the year to June.

Net migration has grown explosively over the last four years, with the net gain in the June year increasing from just 7907 in 2013 to 38,338 in 2014, 58,259 in 2015, 69,090 in 2016 and 72,305 in the the last 12 months, according to Statistics NZ.

The latest gain was driven by record arrivals of 131,355, less long term departures of 59,050.

Of the 131,355 arrivals, 45,071 came on work visas, 38,456 were NZ or Australian citizens, 23,983 were on student visas and 16,711 were on residency visas. 

“Over the past three years, annual net migration has been consistently hitting record levels due to an increasing number of non-New Zealand citizen arrivals,” Statistics NZ population statistics manager Peter Dolan said.

In the 12 months to June this year there was a net loss of 1284 New Zealand citizens, with 33,473 departing permanently or long term, and 32,189 returning after a long term absence.

Just under 100,000 non-New Zealand citizens are now arriving permanently or long term in this country each year, with 99,166 arriving in the 12 months to June and 25,577 departing long term, giving a net gain of 73,589 non-New Zealand citizens for the 12 months to June.

The biggest source country was China with a net gain of 10,351 from that country in the year to June, with another 789 from Hong Kong.

That was followed by India with a  net gain of 7409, the UK 6728, South Africa 4867 and the Philippines 4646.

The latest numbers bring little relief for Auckland which is already bulging at the seams from migration-fuelled population growth, putting increasing pressure on housing and infrastructure such as transport and the health and education systems.

Nearly 60,000 of the people arriving in this country permanently or long term in the 12 months to June stated they intended to live in Auckland.

But there were also nearly 19,000 who did not state where they intended to live and half of them probably settled in Auckland.

Auckland’s net gain (arrivals minus departures) from overseas migration was probably around 43,000 in the year to June.

Net long term migration

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