Archive | Migration

Immigrant decline continues – additional detail

New Zealand’s net inflow of migrants slipped by another 500 from July to August to 63,300/year, a decline of 9100/year since the peak in July 2017.

Statistics NZ said on Friday 129,100 migrants arrived over the last 12 months and 65,800 left.

More Kiwis have headed to Australia, after that figure declined from a net exodus of nearly 40,000 in the August 2015 year to 3651 in 2016. The net exit rate of Kiwis to Australia rose from 4967 in the 12 months to August 2017, to 6105 in the last 12 months. Departures fell to 20,204 2 years ago and have risen over the last 2 years to 20,918. Returns home climbed very gradually over 3 years to reach 16,553 in the August 2016 year, then slid over the last 2 years to reach 14,813 in the latest 12 months.

Non-NZ citizen arrivals slipped by about 2700 in the last year, while exits rose by 5150. Non-citizen arrivals fell just 4 short of 100,000 in the 12 months to August 2017, then slipped to 97,331 in the latest 12 months. Exits got down below 22,000 in 2014 but have risen more sharply in the last 2 years – to 26,460 in 2017 and to 31,613 in the latest 12 months.

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow August: 4629 (5120)
Net migrant inflow August year: 63,288 (72,072; the peak was 72,402 in the 12 months to last July)
Migrants into Auckland in August: 4423 (4683)
Migrants into Auckland in August year: 57,329 (59,700)
Net Auckland inflow in August: 2274 (2754)
Net Auckland inflow in August year: 32,095 (36,796)
Net trans-Tasman flows in August: net outflow of 127 (inflow of 9); NZ citizens net outflow 428 (333), non-citizens net inflow 301 (342)
Net trans-Tasman flows in August year: 1216 net outflow (226 inflow); NZ citizens 6105 net outflow (4967), non-citizens net inflow 4889 (5193)
Overall net flows in August: NZ citizens net outflow 526 (330), non-citizens net inflow 5155 (5450)
Overall net flows in August year: NZ citizens net outflow 2430 (1464), non-citizens net inflow 65,718 (73,536).

Changes to travel statistics

Once travellers leaving New Zealand no longer need to complete a passenger departure card – starting in November – Statistics NZ will adopt in full its outcomes-based measure of migration, first released in May 2017.

That has raised a question of meaningful statistics. Statistics NZ said that, to maintain timely statistics, it was developing provisional migration estimates. That started with early results published in August. Statistics NZ will provide more information on the statistical model to produce provisional estimates in early October.

Defining migrants using travel histories and the ’12/16-month rule’
First look at provisional external migration estimates

Attribution: Statistics NZ.

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Migrant inflow slips again, but rate still high in international comparison

New Zealand’s migrant intake for the 12 months to July has slipped 8600 below the record net inflow the previous year, the result of a 3000 decline in arrivals and a 5600 increase in exits.

Arrivals from Australia were up by 1200, and exits to Australia were up by 360 – a turnaround of just over 1500 from a net inflow to New Zealand in 2017 to a larger net outflow in the latest 12 months.

The net outflow of NZ citizens to Australia got close to 40,000 in the July 2012 year, declined to about 3600 by 2016 and has risen to just over 6000 in the latest 12 months.

The pressure on Auckland eased in July through a combination of fewer arrivals & more exits, cutting the net inflow by almost 4200 over 12 months.

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow July: 5331 (6547 in July last year)
Net migrant inflow July year: 63,779 (the peak was 72,402 in the 12 months to last July)
Migrants into Auckland in July: 5140 (5440)
Migrants into Auckland in July year: 57,589 (59,447)
Net Auckland inflow in July: 2532 (3126)
Net Auckland inflow in July year: 32,575 (36,753)
Net trans-Tasman flows in July: net outflow of 260 (11); NZ citizens net outflow 620 (378), non-citizens net inflow 360 (367)
Net trans-Tasman flows in July year: 1080 net outflow (469 inflow); NZ citizens 6010 net outflow (4769), non-citizens net inflow 4930 (5238)
Overall net flows in July: NZ citizens net outflow 809 (345), non-citizens net inflow 6140 (6892)
Overall net flows in July year: NZ citizens net outflow 2234 (1112), non-citizens net inflow 66,013 (73,514).

Non-citizen arrivals reached 99,654 in the July 2017 year, falling to 97,312 for the latest 12 months. Non-citizen departures rose in both of the last 2 years, by 4000 in 2017 to 26,140, then by over 5000 to 31,299 in the latest 12 months.

NZ net migration rate higher than Australia’s

Statistics NZ population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said New Zealand’s current gain from net migration for the June 2018 year equated to 13 people:1000 population (population at 30 June given as 4,885,300). Similar net migration rates were experienced in the spike of the early 2000s.

“The more recent net migration rates are high for New Zealand and high by international standards. Smaller countries like New Zealand & Ireland tend to have larger swings in net migration rates simply because they have a small population. In contrast, countries with large populations tend to have low net migration rates.”

Germany had a net migration rate of 14:1000 in 2015. Given its population of about 82 million then, this equated to net migration of over 1.1 million people in that year.

Mrs Theyers said New Zealand’s current migration rate was almost 4 times as high as the UK’s & the US’s, which both had net migration rates of 3.4:1000 in the June 2017 year.

Australia’s net immigration in the June 2017 year was 262,489, up 27.3% (56,300) on 2015-16. The population at the end of 2017 was put at 24.77 million, so its migration rate was about 10.6:1000 (based on 2 statistics 6 months apart).

Attribution: Statistics NZ release, Australian Bureau of Census & Statistics.

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Migrant inflow slide continues

New Zealand’s – and Auckland’s – net migrant inflows continued to slide in June as more migrants left the country.

Statistics NZ (which now refers to itself as Stats NZ) also issued a new tool for graphing its statistics (below), and said the first results should appear in late August from its new outcomes method of counting migrants.

Stats NZ said today 8485 migrants arrived in June (9158 in June last year) while 5720 (5145) left. The net result for the month was a net inflow of 2765 (4013).

For the year to June, the net inflow was 64,995 (72,305 for the previous 12 months; peak was 72,402 in the 12 months to last July). That’s down 7310 (10.1%) from the previous 12 months, and down 10.2% from the peak year to July 2017.

Arrivals for the year slipped by 1819 (1.4%) to 129,536 (131,355), while departures rose 9.3% to 64,541 (59,050).

The net flow of NZ citizens was, as usual, outward. For the month, the net outflow was 895 (511 last June), and for the year 1770 (1284).

Non-citizen exits jumped by over 5300 in the last 12 months and arrivals fell by 1500 for a net non-citizen inflow of 66,765.

Holders of student visas fell by 431 for the year to 23,552 (23,983) and the combined inflow of NZ & Australian citizens hardly moved, down by just 5 to 38,451.

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow June: 2765 (4013 in June last year)
Net migrant inflow June year: 64,995 (72,305 for the previous 12 months; peak was 72,402 in the 12 months to last July)
Migrants into Auckland in June: 3703 (4055)
Migrants into Auckland in June year: 57,889 (59,076)
Net Auckland inflow in June: 1580 (2106)
Net Auckland inflow in June year: 33,169 (36,650)
Net outflow to Australia in June: 453 (169)
Net outflow to Australia in June year: 831 outflow (560 inflow).

New online tool
Statistics NZ has produced a new online tool for tourism & migration figures, as used in the second graph above. It’s called the tourism & migration data visualiser.

Estimating migration – classifying border crossings with incomplete travel histories 
Statistics NZ (which now refers to itself as Stats NZ) also said today it would soon use an outcomes-based measure to formally measure migration: “An outcomes-based measure is more accurate than the current intentions-based measure (see Outcomes versus intentions: Measuring migration based on travel histories). However, the outcomes-based measure requires 16 months of complete border-crossing information, resulting in a 17-month lag before final estimates can be released.

“Stats NZ is working towards producing a provisional measure of migration that will ensure a timelier statistic.

“Results from work so far show that most border crossings can be classified before 16 months are up. The remaining records can be classified (to short-term visitor, short-term NZ resident traveller, or long-term migrant) based on other variables such as age, sex, visa type & citizenship. This estimation has the potential to change, so provisional data will be published with uncertainty intervals, and will be subject to revision as the outcomes of travellers become more certain.

“First results of the provisional estimation are expected to be published from late August.”

Links: Tourism & migration data visualiser
Outcomes versus intentions: Measuring migration based on travel histories

Attribution: Stats NZ tables & release.

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Migrants still coming, but more leaving

The big change in migration in the last month & the last 12 months is the rise in exits from New Zealand.

Statistics NZ’s latest figures, for May, show arrivals down by 240 compared to May last year, but departures up by 550. For the year, arrivals were down by 200 but departures were up by 5500.

The net results for the month are that migrant arrivals fell to 8140 (8386 a year earlier), departures rose to 5818 (5269) and the net inflow fell to 2322 (3117).

For the year to May, the inflow fell marginally to 130,209 (130,403), the exits rose to 63,966 (58,439) and the net inflow fell to 66,243 (71,964).

The net outflow to Australia was down from 486 in April to 340 in May. In May last year the net flow was 45 to New Zealand. For the year to May, there was a net outflow of 547 compared to a net inflow of 790 in the previous 12 months and 1739 inflow in the May 2016 year.

Australia was the only country where the flow turned negative, but net inflows from 2 other countries were well down – China by 1940 to a net 8278, and the UK by 1021 to a net 5513. The inflow from India was down by 826 to a net 6767.

As is most usual, more Kiwis left than came home in May and in the 12 months to May – net outflows of 1090 for the month, 1386 for the year.

The Kiwi departure rate topped 60,000 (61,849) in the May 2012 year, and the net Kiwi outflow that year was 39,413. 500 more Kiwis left that year than citizens of all other countries arrived. The net flow in those 12 months, all migrants, was outward by 3653.

Since then, the net inflow doubled in the May 2013 year to 6242, was 6 times higher in 2014 at 36,397, and hit 71,964 last year. The peak was 72,402 in the 12 months to July 2017.

The net outflow of NZ citizens to Australia was 39,460 in the May 2012 year, a few more than the total Kiwi outflow, so somebody must have come home. Since 2012, the Kiwi net outflow to Australia fell to 34,011, then slumped to 13,587, and in the last 4 years has been a trickle – 6169, 3664, 4423 & 5559.

In Auckland, arrivals were down slightly in May to 3691 (3787) and departures up slightly to 2136 (1888) for a net inflow of 1555 (1899) for the month, and down for the year to 33,695 (36,270).

With changes to house-buying laws imminent through the Overseas Investment Bill now before Parliament, the kind of visa people are on becomes more important. The annual statistics show holders of residence visas down at 14,109 (16,736), student visas down slightly to 23,670 (23,740), work visas up to 46,536 (44,459).

Attribution: Statistics NZ.

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Updated: Migrant inflow slips again, transTasman outflow resumes

Published & updated 21 May 2018:
The inflow of long-term migrants to New Zealand dropped by just under 1000 in April compared to a year ago, and the total for the last 12 months is down 4900 to 67,038. The net inflow for the 12 months to March was 67,984.

Statistics NZ is trying to improve its information and where in the country migrants end up, including reclassifying some short-term visitors as long-term immigrants.

In the meantime, its figures out today show a fall in the number stopping in Auckland fell for the month but were still ahead for the year.

The net outflow to Australia was steady for both month & year.

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow April: 2460 (3406 in April last year)
Net migrant inflow April year: 67,038 (71,885)
Migrants into Auckland in April: 3725 (3849)
Migrants into Auckland in April year: 58,337 (57,885)
Net Auckland inflow in April:  1471 (1880)
Net Auckland inflow in April year: 34,039 (35,864)
Net outflow to Australia in April: 486 (316)
Net outflow to Australia in April year: 162 outflow (780 inflow).

The Australian factor

The Australian factor has been important in New Zealand’s migration picture.

In the 6 years to April 2013, an average 40,000/year NZ citizens left for Australia and a total 57,000 (average 9500/year) came the other way.

The peak was in 2012, when over 48,000 NZ citizens left for Australia (a net 39,600 exited) and total emigration topped 53,000. Departing Kiwis outnumbered those returning by almost 6 to 1.

In the next 2 years the number departing dwindled to a net just below 2000/year, but NZ citizen departures were still up at 6600.

In 2016-17 there was a net inflow from Australia (1721 & 780 in the 2 April years), but the NZ citizen exit rate remained in the thousands. In the latest 12 months, the NZ citizen outflow was 5245.

Over the last 5 years, 14-17,000 NZ citizens/year have come home from Australia, while 29,000 went the other way in 2014, dropping to 22,300 in 2015 and to just over 20,000 in each of the last 3 years.

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.

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Net migrant inflow slips below 68,000

The net annual inflow of migrants is down by 4000 compared to a year ago, and 4400 below the peak last July. But, as Statistics NZ pointed out today, 67,984/year is still an historically high migration level.

The net inflow in March was 959 short of the figure last March, the result of a drop of 121 in arrivals but, having greater impact, a rise in exits of 838.

On an annual basis, exits got down to about 56,000 2 years ago but have risen close to 63,000 in the last 12 months, while arrivals climbed over the 100,000 mark in 2015 and continued rising – to 124,000 in the March 2016 year, just under 130,000 the next year and just over 130,000 this year.

The net exit of NZ citizens was 701 in March and 1081 for the last 12 months on about 32-33,000 arrivals & departures.

Non-citizen arrivals rose by about 1240 over the last 12 months while departures were up nearly 5000.

From 2007-14, the net outflow of NZ citizens to Australia totalled 215,000. In the next 3 years it totalled only 14,000. In March there was a net outflow (NZ citizens & others) to Australia of 281. And for the 12 months to March? A net inflow from Australia to New Zealand of 8.

Statistics NZ said migrants arriving on work visas rose 6% in the March year to 46,338 (43,725), while there was a 13% fall in arrivals on residence visas to 14,590 (16,763). The largest numbers of work-visa migrants were the UK, France & Germany.

Statistics questioned

The Statistics NZ report made no mention of a Treasury paper published a week ago, which questioned the actual level of population growth in Auckland, in particular. You can see what that’s about in the separate article link below.

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow March: 3919 (4878 in March last year)
Net migrant inflow March year: 67,984 (71,932; 72,402 in the 12 months to July 2017)
Migrants into Auckland in March: 4603 (4748)
Migrants into Auckland in March year: 58,461 (57,710)
Net Auckland inflow in March:  2307 (2787)
Net Auckland inflow in March year: 34,448 (35,772)
Net outflow to Australia in March: 283 (112)
Net outflow to Australia in March year: 1018 inflow (8 inflow).

Related story:
24 March 2018: Treasury paper questions Auckland’s actual population growth

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Treasury paper questions Auckland’s actual population growth

An analytical paper published by the NZ Treasury last week raises questions about the accuracy of migration figures, largely because of the hard-to-analyse internal migration.

The paper’s author, senior Treasury modelling analyst Keith McLeod, said in its introduction: “Our estimate of Auckland population growth due to net migration between 2013-16 is about half the official figure.”

The paper describes new sub-national New Zealand population measures that Treasury has developed using integrated administrative data. They’re in an interactive online form in Treasury’s Insights tool.

The paper doesn’t accuse others of getting things wrong – and Treasury says of its own work that it can’t be trusted yet. It’s more a case of additional information giving a more accurate picture of population movements.

Mr McLeod: “New Zealand has a robust system of population estimates, and the data described in this paper has the potential to complement this system. Nevertheless, the results are exploratory in nature, and further work is required to better understand the strengths & limitations of the data. The findings are not official statistics and should be treated with caution.

“A particular strength of the analysis outlined here is the ability to measure & describe patterns of internal migration within New Zealand, something that has previously been largely reliant on the 5-yearly census.

“The analysis not only describes patterns of internal migration, but sets these alongside other key dimensions of population change: ageing, natural increase & international migration.”

Estimates aren’t immediately available for release, and results for a particular calendar year are only likely to be able to be produced 9 or more months after the end of that year.

The Auckland question

On the question of Auckland’s growth, the paper says: “Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, has experienced year-on-year growth since 2008. This has been driven largely by migration from overseas, with foreign migrants more than offsetting net losses of New Zealanders moving away.

“Since 2012, increasing numbers of people have been leaving Auckland to move to other areas, especially Tauranga, Waikato District, Whangarei & the Far North. This has slowed population increase in Auckland over that period.

“Although the case studies presented here tell a similar story to official population estimates, there are some differences, particularly in Auckland, where our estimates show much lower population growth in recent years.

“Our estimate of Auckland population growth due to net migration between 2013-16 is about half the official figure.

“More work is required to better understand these differences. The difference could derive from the difficulty in determining people’s location of residence after their arrival in New Zealand in either or both of the sources, or may relate to the different residence definitions adopted.”

  • For me, this research is very welcome because information on internal migration has long appeared to be lacking.

Treasury Insights analytical paper, 18 April 2018: Where we come from, where we go – describing population change in NZ

Attribution: Treasury Insights.

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Migrant net inflow slips below 69,000

New Zealand’s net inflow of migrants slipped below 69,000/year in February, for the first time since May 2016.

The pattern flowed through to Auckland, where arrivals were down & exits up slightly in February, resulting in the net inflow to the city falling just below 35,000.

The exit rate of NZ citizens for February was slim (a net outflow of 217) and was also small for the year (down from nearly 1700 the previous year to 813), but the net inflow of non-citizens also fell for the year, by 3300, to 69,756.

The departure rate of NZ citizens to Australia was again low for the month, a net outflow of 634, but up by 640 for the year to a net outflow of 4959, indicating that our western neighbour still hasn’t got its economic act together.

The figures (previous February or year to February in brackets):

February traffic: arrivals 12,761 (13,793), exits 5356 (5184), net inflow 7405 (8609)
February year: arrivals 130,966 (128,816), exits 62,023 (57,483), net inflow 68,943 (71,333)
Net trans-Tasman flows: February net outflow 188 (329), year 179 net inflow (1034)
NZ citizen net outflows: February 217 (397), year 813 (1687)
Non-citizen net inflows: February 7622 (9006), year 69,756 (73,020)
Auckland arrivals: February 5473 (6507), year 58,606 (57,156)
Auckland net inflow: February 3404 (4543), year 34,928 (35,313)

That non-citizen net inflow is the big change. Stats NZ said migrant departures for Asia were up 31% over the year to 11,700, while the overall net gain of migrants from Asia was 30,500 for the year.

Attribution: Stats NZ.

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Over half net migrant inflow is into Auckland as destination

New Zealand’s migrant inflow rose slightly in January, has fallen by 1200 over 12 months but is still running at just above 70,000/year.

Statistics NZ’s monthly tally showed arrivals in January totalled 14,889 (14,457 in January last year), exits 6312 (6011) for a net inflow of 8577 (8446).

For the January year, arrivals were 131,998 (128,290), exits 61.851 (56,985) for a net inflow of 70,147 (71,305).

From a high point of 72,402 last August, the net inflow fell to 70,016 in the December year.

The net flow of migrants across the Tasman has been negative (ie, to Australia) this January & last, and the annual net flow was only slightly – by 38 – positive in this direction.

The net outflow for the month rose from 246 last year to 317, and the annual net flow to New Zealand fell from 1264 last January to 38 this January.

The annual flow of migrants from both China & India dipped, but the numbers from the Philippines, South Africa & the UK rose. The annual flow from China was 9308 (10,197 the previous 12 months), India 6707 (8560), the Philippines 4775 (4580), South Africa 4946 (4533) & the UK 6136 (5981).

Non-citizen arrivals continue to comfortably exceed exits – 8750 versus 2570 for a net inflow of 6180 for the month, but 30 more departures than arrivals by NZ citizens (2730 versus 2700).

The flow into Auckland as a destination remained high – 6833 for the month (6871 in January last year, 5962 2 years ago) – while departures remained low at 2382 (2335). The net inflow was down slightly for the month at 4451 (4536) but up for the year at 36,067 (34,660).

The number of Indians arriving on student visas continued to decline, to 5811 for the last 12 months (6457 the previous year and 10,558 2 years ago). Chinese arriving on student visas have also fallen in the last 12 months, to 5263, after rising from 5497 to 5612 in the previous 12 months.

Outcomes-based migration measurement updated

Stats NZ updated its outcomes-based measure of migration – the 12/16-month rule – last week, taking the series forward to September 2016.

It was introduced in May 2017 and identifies an individual’s migrant status when Stats NZ observes their travel history, and their length of stay in New Zealand, after a 16-month follow-up period.

Population insights senior manager Peter Dolan said: “It differs from the traditional method of classifying permanent & long-term migrants (PLT) that we base on their stated intention on arrival & departure cards.

“The 12/16-month rule showed net migration in the September 2016 year was 64,500, compared with 70,000 as defined by the PLT migration measure. September 2016 is the most recent available period for outcomes-based migration, due to the 17-month lag to produce migration figures by the 12/16-month rule.

“Migrant statistics that rely on passengers’ stated intentions are affected by uncertainty around people’s assumptions about how long they will be in New Zealand.

“Using an outcomes-based measure of defining migrants gives us a clearer picture of the actual migration patterns in New Zealand, and aligns with the approach taken in Australia.”

For more information on the 12/16-month rule, see:
Defining migrants using travel histories and the ’12/16-month rule’
Outcomes versus intentions: Measuring migration based on travel histories

Attribution: Stats NZ releases & tables.

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Migrant inflow holds above 70,000/year, Auckland influx rises

The net annual migrant inflow continued to slide in December but stayed just above 70,000.

From a high point of 72,402 last August, the net inflow fell to 70,016 in the December year (70,588 in the December 2016 year).

In 2012 it was negative – a net outflow of 1165.

Immigrant numbers rose slightly in December to 10,710 (10,687 a year earlier), but exits rose slightly more to 6049 (5688) for a net inflow in December of 4661 (4999).

For the year, immigrant numbers rose to 131,566 (127,305), emigrant numbers rose more, to 61,550 (56,717).

Arrivals from Australia were steady for the month at 2923 (2909), down for the year at 24,950 (25,783). Departures to Australia were 2533 (2608) for the month, 24,841 (24, 220) for the year. Net, arrivals outnumbered exits for the month by 390 (301), and for the year by 109 (1563).

The inflow into Auckland was 4303 (4384) for the month, 59,678 (55,322) for the year. Net, that influx reduced to 2010 (2152) for the month, but was 36,152 (33,916) for the year.

In practical terms, that net annual inflow equates to a demand for about 12,560 homes in Auckland in 2017, at 2.7 residents/household. Consents for new homes in Auckland in 2017 totalled 10,867 – short of demand by 1700, ignoring natural population increase.

Attribution: Stats NZ tables & release.

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