You could sense an almost imperceptible turning of the tide: the net inflow of migrants slipped by 47 for the year in the rolling 12-month count released by Statistics NZ on Friday.
After 3 years of substantial rises every April from a negative 28 in 2013 to a gain of 2424 and up by 500 more in each of the next 2 years, the flow stopped.
The change occurred in Auckland too – up another 1788 in April, but that was only 92 more than in April last year; the previous April the rise had been by 352. Auckland was up another 4282 over 12 months to a net inflow of 35,864, but that annual growth was down from 5476 the previous year.
It becomes a political question: the Government has 3-plus years of economic growth from the migrant tide in the bag, and that growth will continue. And although the Government’s not the dictator of personal travel preferences, will an easing of the inflow in the 4 months to the election change public perceptions that record immigration has been a highly negative influence?
The immigrant flow rose again, as it’s done every April since 2012, this time by 261 to 8637. The emigrant flow had been decreasing, but this April it rose by 308 to 5231.
The immigrant flow for the year rose by 5110 to 129,779 – that’s over 45,000/year more than in each of the 3 years 2010-12, and a 3-year supply in 2 years. On the other side of the equation, emigration peaked at 87,813 in 2012 and slumped to about 57,000 over the last 3 years. In the latest 12 months, it was 57,894, up by 1325 on the previous year.
The net inflow in April was 3406 (3453 the previous April), and the net inflow for the year was 71,885 (68,110 the previous year).
Australia & the 5 big inflows
Exits to Australia peaked at 53,904 in the August 2012 year, and the net outflow was running at around 40,000 in that period. Now the flow each way is about 24-25,000 – in the latest 12 months, 24,680 out & 25,460 in for a net gain of 780, down from 1721 the previous year.
The other 5 big net inflows are from China, India, the Philippines, the UK & South Africa.
For the 12 months to April, the net inflow from China was up at 10,225 (9615 the previous period), India’s was sharply down at 7792 (12,218), the Philippines was down at 4532 (5151), the UK was well up at 6439 (3891) and South Africa was also well up at 4749 (2730).
NZ citizen moves
The net outflow of NZ citizens was up in April compared to the 2 previous years, but nowadays you’re looking at very small numbers – 1025 in April (2067 in, 3092 out; the net outflows the previous 2 years were 960 & 969). For the year, the net outflow continued to slide, dropping from 3560 to 1406. In 2012 that outflow was a net 39,491; it dropped by 5000, then 20,000, in the next 2 years.
The annual inflow of non-citizens, at 97,810 in the last 12 months, was 36,000 more than in 2012. 24,519 non-citizens departed, the highest annual figure since 25,825 left in 2012. Net immigrant numbers have grown from a low of 32,416 in the April 2010 year to 73,291 in the latest 12 months.
For Auckland, arrivals have been up by 5000 in each of the last 2 years, rising from 47,868 to 52,870 to 57,885. Departures have been stable in a range 21,288-22,021. The net inflows to Auckland over those 3 years were 26,106, 31,582 & 35,864.
Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.