Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Migrant numbers into NZ remain at record levels

People arriving as permanent and long-term migrants outnumbered those departing by 129,779 to 57,894 in the latest 12 months People arriving as permanent and long-term migrants outnumbered those departing by 129,779 to 57,894 in the latest 12 months
Frank Williams | 19 May, 2017, 07:21

People arriving as permanent and long-term migrants outnumbered those departing by 129,779 to 57,894 in the latest 12 months.

A new data series about migrant arrivals and departures, for January 2001 to March 2015, and a related report detail a new measure for estimating the contribution global migration makes to changes in New Zealand's resident population.

Meanwhile, net migration figures for the year to April remained at March's record 71,900 - with 129,800 arrivals and 57,900 departures. Of those arriving, 57,885 were bound for Auckland while 10,146 were headed to the capital city of Wellington. This reflected a drop in student arrivals from India (down 3,800).

Work-visa migrants from the United Kingdom rose 14 per cent to 7,347 while those from France were up 15 per cent to 4,000.

New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration in recent years as economic growth outpaced Australia's, meaning fewer locals moved across the Tasman. Rising immigration is shaping up to be a key election issue as it strains the country's infrastructure and has been blamed for inflaming property markets.

The government stats agency says in the 12 months to April 3.6 million visitors arrived in New Zealand, up 10 per cent from a year ago. The April 2017 annual total was up 10 percent from the April 2016 year.

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In the April 2017 year, 52,600 people arrived in New Zealand on student visas.

Visitor arrivals for the April 2017 year numbered 3.6 million, setting a new annual record.

But it hasn't all been one-way traffic though, with Kiwis taking a record 2.7 million trips overseas in the year to April, up 11 per cent on last year, according to Stats NZ.

"Independent of the traveller's legal residence status and the intentions they state on their passenger card, when we compare this new measure with existing migration statistics we find the net permanent and long-term migration measure provides a timely and robust indicator of worldwide migration's contribution to changes in our resident population". Generally, visitors are those intending to stay or be away for less than one year; migrants are those intending to stay or be away for more than one year.

Stats NZ today also released an experimental series of migrant statistics by the "12/16-month rule". The alternative measure identifies travellers' migrant status after observing their travel histories over a 16-month follow-up period.

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