21 July 2024

Record annual net migration gain exceeds 100,000 for first time

New Zealand’s net migration exceeded 100,000 for the first time, with a record gain of 110,200 in the August 2023 year.

Net migration is the difference between migrant arrivals and migrant departures.

According to provisional estimates released by Stats NZ today, annual net migration first exceeded 100,000 in the July 2023 year.

“Annual migrant arrivals reached an all-time high of 225,400 in the August 2023 year. The 115,100 migrant departures were just below the annual record of 117,400 in the February 2012 year,” population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

“Net migration continues to be driven by non-New Zealand citizen arrivals, with about 8 out of 9 migrants arriving on a non-New Zealand passport,” Islam said.

“This follows a progressive relaxation of COVID-19-related border restrictions from early 2022, as well as changes to immigration settings.”

The net migration loss of 42,600 New Zealand citizens in the August 2023 year is approaching the record loss of 44,400 in the February 2012 year. In the March 2023 year, 53 percent of New Zealand citizen migrant departures were to Australia.

Migrants are people changing their country of residence, regardless of their country of citizenship or visa status. A 12-month threshold is used to classify migrants from non-migrants, aligned with international guidelines on measuring migration.

Changes in migration are typically due to a combination of factors. This includes relative economic and labour market conditions between New Zealand and the rest of the world, and immigration policy in New Zealand and other countries.

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