Statistics NZ’s migration count for the year to May shows a marginal increase over the previous year, and the net inflow down by 9-13,000 compared to 2016-17.
The net inflows for those 4 years to May, using Statistics NZ’s outcomes-based measure (which replaced an intentions-based measure), were:
For the month of May, there was a net outflow in each of the 4 years to 2013. Following the outflows, the highest net inflow was 2791 in 2016, declining to 1856, 1808 and now 1690.
Where are they going? Don’t know
Figures Statistics NZ is still not supplying include migration tallies for New Zealand’s regions – probably more important than the national figures.
The net departure of NZ citizens continues – lower than in the peak outflow years but doubling in the last 12 months, according to Statistics NZ’s latest count.
After 4 years of low net outflows (3000-6300/year), the rate doubled in the last year to 12,347. That’s 700 above the figure in 2014. For the 5 years before that (2009-13), the outflow of NZ citizens was very high (just under 38,000 in the May 2012 year).
While NZ citizens’ net outflows were high over the period 2009-14, population growth was sustained by a much higher rate of non-citizen arrivals over departures, except for 2 years. In the May 2011 & 2012 years, there were net outflows of 2000 & about 8500.
Using Statistics NZ’s (rounded) outcomes-based counts since then, for the May years, there was a net inflow of 2700 in 2013, rising by 30,000 in the next 12 months and exceeding 63,000 in 2016. In the last 3 years, the net inflows were 59,200, 49,900 & 50,500 – much lower than the counts under the previous intentions-based measure but still defying the present government’s desire for a decline.
Statistics NZ preferred to concentrate on figures to December 2018 when it released its monthly counts yesterday, because every month under the new system the initial provisional counts are given a shake and the outcome is closer to something final.
In the end, both the provisional and the final counts matter – the provisional so you have an early indicator of change, for things like employment & housing; the final counts to clarify long-term change.
Where do the migrants come from?
Asia is the biggest source of immigrants, but fell slightly in the last year, from 51,871 to 49,140. China is still the biggest Asian source – down slightly last year to 14,097, back up this year to 15,098. It’s followed by India, 12,992 last year, falling to 10,999 this year, and the Philippines, 7365 last year, falling to 6099.
Migration from Australia slipped by nearly 3000 last year to 24,524, rising to 25,310 this year.
European numbers have fallen in the last 2 years, primarily because migration from the UK has fallen. The UK figures for the last 3 May years: 12,843, falling to 11,926 and now 8936.
Immigration from the Americas (11,291 for the latest 12 months) has been steady for 3 years, Brazil down in the latest count (from 1733 to 1271), the US up in each of the last 2 years (to 4445, then 4906).
Immigration from South Africa jumped in the last 12 months (from 6029 to 7994).
The category recording the biggest change was “not stated”: up from 11,465 to 19,334.
Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.