Migration numbers reach new heights
The provisional estimate of annual net migration in the year ended December 2018 was 48,300, according to Stats NZ's latest figures.
Migrant arrivals were provisionally estimated at 145,800 and migrant departures at 97,500.
“Provisional migration estimates are a timely measure of migration, which we revise each month until they are finalised after 16 months,” says population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers.
Net migration for the year ended November 2018 is now estimated at 48,000, compared with 43,400 when it was first released last month. Stats NZ believes is driven by changes in estimated migrant departures, from 100,600 to 96,200 for the year ended November 2018. Migrant arrivals remained relatively unchanged.
Net migration totals 270,000 over the last five years
The last five years, 2014 to 2018, had the largest net migration gains ever in New Zealand’s history with an estimated 270,000 more migrant arrivals than migrant departures.
An estimated 700,000 migrants arrived and 430,000 migrants departed over this period.
“Even though many migrants arriving only stay for a year or two, it’s important to count them as migrants and not short-term visitors. They are part of our resident population, which has implications for infrastructure and service provision,” says Theyers.
Annual net migration down from peak
Annual net migration has gradually fallen from the record peak of 63,900 in the year ended July 2016.
This reflects an increase in migrants leaving New Zealand over this period – in particular, non-NZ citizen departures.
Annual net migration for the December 2018 year is estimated to be lower than a year earlier when it was 52,700.