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STATS SHOW WHICH REGIONS GROWING FASTEST AS IMMIGRATION DRIVES POPULATION GROWTH

by Simon Lord,
last updated 28/10/2016

in this article:

21 October 2016 ­– Just four regional council areas accounted for over 75 percent of New Zealand’s population growth last year, Statistics New Zealand said today. Some of that growth comes from a record level of migration to New Zealand.

click images to enlarge

Population changes by region (supplied by Statistics New Zealand)

Population changes by region (supplied by Statistics New Zealand)

Annual net migration since 1986 (supplied by Statistics New Zealand)

Annual net migration since 1986 (supplied by Statistics New Zealand)

15 of New Zealand’s 16 regions experienced growth in the year to June 2016, and three-quarters had greater increases than in the year to June 2015. Auckland’s population swelled with a 2.8 percent increase, followed by Canterbury and Waikato (2.3 percent each), and Bay of Plenty (2.2 percent). These 4 regions all exceeded the national level of 2.1 percent growth.

The Queenstown-Lakes district overtook the Selwyn district as the fastest-growing territorial authority area in the year to June, with a 7.1 percent population increase. Growth in Queenstown-Lakes and the greater Christchurch area accounted for about 73 percent of the population increase in the South Island.

'The most significant component of growth in most areas was record net migration – more people arrived and fewer departed,' senior analyst Kirsten Nissen said. ‘Not only was growth high in the big cities, but also in their surrounding areas.’

A record 70,000 more migrants arrived than departed in the September 2016 year. This surpasses the previous annual record net gain of 69,100 migrants in the August 2016 year.

‘The annual net gain reflects record high migrant arrivals and fewer migrant departures,’ population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said. ‘Most of the arrivals are people coming in with work visas, which also includes working holidaymakers.’

Migrant arrivals numbered 125,600 in the September 2016 year. The distribution of migrant arrivals by most common visa type was:

  • work visas (32 percent)
  • New Zealand and Australian citizens (29 percent)
  • student visas (20 percent)
  • residence visas (13 percent).

Migrant departures were 55,700 in the same period, with New Zealand citizens contributing almost 60 percent of all migrant departures.

Seasonally-adjusted figures showed a net gain of 6,300 migrants in September 2016, surpassing the previous peak of 6,200 in November 2015. The Government recently announced that residence approvals would be cut over the next two years. Read our recent review of immigration trends in franchising on page 28 of our digital magazine or send for a free print copy.

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