The net inflow of migrants rose 20.8% in February and the annual figure hit a new high of 67,391 – 22.3% ahead of the previous 12 months and up 2.25% from January on a 12-month rolling basis.
Statistics NZ said:
- 30,700 (a quarter) of migrant arrivals in the February year were NZ citizens
- 13,800 were from India, almost three-quarters on student visas
- 13,500 were from the UK, almost half on work visas.
For 8 years, migrant numbers arriving in February ranged between 8500-9800. In the last 3 years, the immigrant number in February has from 10,900 to 12,000 to 13,267. In 8 out of 9 years from 2006, February emigrant numbers ranged from 5100-7400, rising to 8050 once. But last year & this year that emigration number dropped below 5000 – 4884, then 4686.
From net February inflows in the range of 1200-3600 over 8 years, the net inflow exploded in 2014 to 5777, then to 7101 & 8581.
On an annual basis, immigrant numbers were in a range of 79-89,000 for 8 years, then jumped to 96,852 in 2014, then 112,614 & 124,245. Emigrant numbers jumped around more, in a range of 63-88,000, before dropping more than 10,000 2 years ago to 57,493, and then to 56,854.
The net figures, both monthly & annually, are thus a combination of rising arrivals & falling exits, and trans-Tasman long-term migration has a lot to do with it. From a net outflow to Australia of 15,000/year 2 years ago down to 2560 one year ago, the flow is now inward by 1606/year.
The net February figure is still outward, but not by much – down from 776 2 years ago to 450, and this year to 99. Arrivals from Australia rose to 25,810 in the latest 12 months, while exits have fallen from 35,665 2 years ago to 24,204.
The country would have emptied out long ago without immigrants, but the exit rate of NZ citizens has slowed. It was down from a net 4125 in February 2012 to a net 1015 3 years ago, then fell to 774 & 439.
On an annual basis, the rush of NZ citizens to the exit gate was just short of 39,000 net (61,600 gross) in 2012, but has since declined to net figures of 6649 last year & 3893 in the latest 12 months.
Non-citizen February arrivals were below 8000 before starting to climb 2 years ago, first to 8476, then to 9618, then to 10,735. And non-citizens come to stay – the February exit rate has exceeded 2000 only once in 11 years.
On an annual basis, non-citizen arrivals were in a range of 55-70,000 until 2 years ago, while exits got down to 20,400 and exceeded 26,000 once. In the last 2 years, however, arrivals jumped by 13,500 to 83,391, and then another 10,000 to 93,498 while exits stayed around 22,000.
The net inflow of non-citizens has more than doubled in 4 years, from 34,701 to 71,284. That low point in 2012 saw a net overall outflow of 4068/year as NZ citizen flight hit 38,679.
Impacts on Auckland & housing
Auckland, as the region that participates most in flows both ways, has received just over 42% of immigrants over the last year, and farewelled just under 38%. Those Auckland exits were up over 25,000/year 2 years ago, dropping to 21,673 & 21,372 in the last 2 years.
Incoming traffic, though has been rising – 39,343/year 2 years ago, to 46,954 and then to 52,407. The net inflow for the region has risen from 13,709 to 25,281 to 31,035.
The key to housing equilibrium in Auckland in all of this is to ship pensioners off to retirement villages or other provinces at a fast clip, to make way for incoming families. The next monthly building consent figures will be out after Easter, on Wednesday 30 March, but the figures to January showed consents for retirement village units were down at 1908/year, suburban townhouses up at 3522/year, but steady momentum in overall construction of new homes in Auckland, up 21% for the year to 9275.
At an occupancy ratio of 3/dwelling, that would have left Auckland about 1000 homes short of accommodating all the new immigrants for the year, ignoring natural growth. However, if single pensioners & couples have sold to families, equilibrium might have been maintained.
Statistics NZ’s population estimates for the year to June 2015 show sharp increases from a low point of a 24,100 gain in 2012, rising by 34,000, then 67,600 and last by 86,900, and the immigration rate has since sped up.
Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.