Migrant arrivals to New Zealand hit 100,000 for the first time

Monday July 28, 2014 Hugh Dixon

In July 2014, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) has released data on the international migration for the year to June 2014.


For the first time ever unadjusted international migrant arrivals have surpassed the hundred thousand mark, with a total of 100,800 arrivals in the year to June 2014.  The permanent migrationprevious record for annual migration was for the year to May 2014, with 99,900.  The 100,800 arrivals seen in the year to June 2014, marks a 14.2 percent increase in migrant arrivals from the year to June 2013, when international migrant arrivals were 88,200.


In the last year international migrant arrivals have increased by around 12,500, the source of the largest increase in international arrivals was from Australia, where migrant arrivals increased by 5,400 to 22,200 for the year to June 2014. The increase from Australia was followed by large increases of people from India, up 1,800 to 8,200 for the year, and China which increased by 1,200 to 8,800 for the year.


While international migrant arrival numbers are currently surging, international migrant departures from New Zealand are experiencing a decline with just 62,500 people departing New Zealand permanently in the year ending June 2014.  The number of international migrant departures is 22.3 percent lower than for the previous year, when 80,300 migrated from New Zealand.


This indicates that New Zealand currently are attracting not just  New Zealanders back but also people from all over the world  as a desirable place to live, as shown by the surge in international arrivals and the decline in international departures.  This is led by New Zealand’s current relatively good economic growth, low unemployment, and stability.


nz migration to from australiaThe large increase in migrants from Australia is due to New Zealanders returning from Australia, with around two-thirds of international migrant arrivals from Australia, being New Zealanders.  With the Australian economy starting to weaken and expected to continue weakening for the next year, while the New Zealand economy is expected to strengthen further, many New Zealanders  are choosing to return to New Zealand.


This trend has also hit international departures, with departures to Australia down 17,500 for the year to 30,500, though for those leaving New Zealand, Australia was still the most popular destination for the year to June 2014, with almost half of all departures.  Following Australia, the next most popular destination is the United Kingdom with 8,300.   


Overall for the year to June 2014, there was a net increase in New Zealand’s population of 38,300 from international migration, compared to 7,900 seen in the year to June 2013, and a large turnaround from the net decrease of 3,200 seen in the year to June 2012.