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Net migration levels steady – Stats NZ

Annual net migration was provisionally estimated at 53,200 (± 900) in the year ended February 2019 compared with 51,500 in the previous year, Stats NZ says.

"Increases for both migrant arrivals and migrant departures meant that there was a slight increase in net migration in the year ended February 2019," population indicators manager Tehseen Islam says.

"Annual net migration has fluctuated between 49,000 and 55,000 since the year ended October 2017."

Migrant arrivals are overseas residents, including New Zealand citizens, who cumulatively spend 12 of the next 16 months in New Zealand after arriving.

Migrant departures are New Zealand residents, including non-New Zealand citizens, who cumulatively spend 12 of the next 16 months out of New Zealand after departing.

Provisional migrant arrivals were up 8300 to 147,300 in the year ended February 2019. The top source countries for arrivals were:

Australia (25,800 – 15,600 of which were New Zealand citizens)

China (15,800)

India (12,300).

Provisional estimates of migrant departures were up 6,500 to 94,100.

The growth in overall migrant arrivals (8300) was driven by non-New Zealand citizen arrivals. There were 9300 more migrant arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens in the year ended February 2019 compared with the year ended February 2018. Migrant arrivals of New Zealand citizens were down 1000.

In contrast, the growth in overall migrant departures (6500) was driven by New Zealand citizen departures. There were 4900 more migrant departures of New Zealand citizens in the year ended February 2019 compared with the year ended February 2018. Migrant departures of non-New Zealand citizens were up 1600.

Migrants who arrive in New Zealand are typically younger than the general population. In the year ended February 2019, more than two-thirds of migrant arrivals were aged under 35 years. By comparison, less than half of the New Zealand population is aged under 35 years.

Work visas were the most common visa type on arrival for overseas migrants, with 32,000 in the February 2019 year. Other visa types on arrival were:

 – visitor (31,900)

– student (25,700)

– resident (13,200).

"Although a person may arrive on a visitor visa, they can change this to another visa type later," Tehseen says.

"For example, a person who arrived on a visitor visa could then apply for a resident visa, which would allow them to stay longer in New Zealand."

There were also an additional 43,300 migrant arrivals of New Zealand and Australian citizens in the year ended February 2019. These people do not require a visa to enter New Zealand but are still an important part of overall migrant flows.

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