Net migration to New Zealand hits new record high

Tuesday November 25, 2014 Hugh Dixon

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


For the first time ever net migration to New Zealand has reached 47,684 for the year to October 2014. This total has been reached off the back of 107,200 international migrant arrivals, and 59,500 international migrant departures. The previous highest mark for annual net migration was 43,500, set in the year to August 2014, and 42,500 set in the year to May 2003.


chart permanent migration


This is a significant turnaround in New Zealand’s migration situation, given that just two years ago, New Zealand was experiencing a decline in net migration with 2,300 more people leaving New Zealand than arriving, in the year to October 2012.


Since 2012 New Zealand has seen annual migrant arrivals increase by around 22,000 a year, while departures have declined by around 26,000 a year.


In the last year the largest sources of international migrant arrivals were Australia with 22,700, the United Kingdom with 13,700, India with 10,700, and China with 9,700. Overall the top four countries provide around 53 percent of New Zealand international migrant arrivals.


At the same time Australia, the United Kingdom, and China are the top destinations for migrants departing New Zealand. In the year to October 2014, 28,000 people left for Australia, 8,400 for the United Kingdom, and 2,400 for China. This represents almost two-thirds of all departures.


This record high in net international migration is good for New Zealand’s economy as it means that we now have an extra 47,700 people living in New Zealand, buying their goods and services from New Zealand businesses and also providing their skills and knowledge to our domestic labour market.