Archive | Migration

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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Migrant inflow slips to exact figure of a year ago

New Zealand’s net migrant inflow is back exactly where it was a year ago after the number of long-term migrants both in & out of the country changed by the same figure, 4886.

The identical rise in arrivals & fall in departures in the last 12 months left the net inflow at 70,354 for both the 2016 & 2017 November years.

The net inflow hit 72,402 in the July 2017 year and has been subsiding gradually since then.

Arrivals in November totalled 6751, down by 340 from a year earlier.

Arrivals from Australia slipped by 1000 over the year to 24,936 while exits to Australia rose by 830 to 24,916 – a net gain of 20 over the year, down from a net gain of 1830 in the previous 12 months.

For the last 4 years, there’s been a net gain of NZ citizens returning in November (745 this November, up from 637 a year ago), and the annual tallies have gone close to more Kiwis returning than leaving. From a net exit rate of 39,000 in the 12 months to November 2012, the net exit rate of Kiwis tailed off to just under 24,000 in the November 2013 year, about 8400 in 2014, 1899 in 2016 & 1309 in the last months.

Non-citizen net immigration climbed from about 31,300 in 2010 to 72,253 in the November 2016 year, but has declined to 71,663 in the latest 12 months. Immigrant numbers continued to climb (up 4300 over the year to 99,425), but exits climbed slightly more (up by just under 5000 to 27,762).

Migrants stating Auckland as their destination continued upward – 4902 (4843 last year) for the month, 59,759 (54,765) for the year. The net inflow to Auckland fell slightly for the month to 3253 (3316) but was still ahead over 12 months at 36,294 (33,536).

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.

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Australian net migrant inflow jumps 27%

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said yesterday the country increased its net inflow of migrants by 27% in the June year to 245,400.

The net inflow into New South Wales was up 31% to 98,600, and into Victoria was up 23% to 86,900.

Bureau demography director Beidar Cho said Australia’s population grew by 388,100 people (1.6%) to reach 24.6 million.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, June 2017 quarter demographic statistics

Attribution: ABS release.

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Exiting Kiwi number shrinks again, but annual net migrant inflow slips

The net emigration rate of New Zealand citizens shrank by another 470 in the year to September, while the net immigration rate of non-citizens rose by 560.

For the last 3 Septembers, returning Kiwis have outnumbered those leaving long-term – from 44 2 years ago to 524, then 351. For the September year, departing Kiwis numbered 52-62,000 in 2011-13, but have been below 40,000/year for the last 4 years, down to 33,348 last year and rising slightly this year to 33,656.

The result has been a decline in the net outflow of Kiwis from almost 40,000/year 5 years ago to just below 10,000 3 years ago, and continuing steadily downward to 2108 last year, 1637 this year.

On the non-citizen side of the ledger, the net inflow dipped this September to 6467 (7380 a year earlier).

The number of immigrants stopping in Auckland in September fell slightly to 5283 (5365), while departures rose to 1734 (1424). For the year, arrivals in Auckland were up by nearly 6000 and departures also rose, by 2000, for a net gain of 36,404 (32,768).

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow September: 6818 (7904 in September last year)
Net migrant inflow September year: 70,986 (69,954 for the previous 12 months; 72,402 in the 12 months to this July, 72,072 to August)
Migrants into Auckland in September: 5283 (5365)
Migrants into Auckland in September year: 59,618 (53,844)
Net Auckland inflow in September: 3549 (3941)
Net Auckland inflow in September year: 36,404 (32,768)
Net outflow to Australia in September: 155 (447)
Net outflow to Australia in September year: 66 inflow (1965 outflow).

Earlier story:
22 September 2017: An immigration pause – or a turning point?

Attribution: Statistics NZ.

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Reserve Bank plays unchanged game, and Peters unimpressed

The Reserve Bank left the official cashrate unchanged at 1.75% yesterday.

The bank’s acting governor, Grant Spencer, said: ‘”Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period. Numerous uncertainties remain and policy may need to adjust accordingly.”

This nudging along of economic policy doesn’t sit well with the man with the most influential say on future directions, NZ First leader Winston Peters.

Winston Peters.

While voters who believe we’re still in the era of first-past-the-post elections have been busily writing letters to editors explaining that, as National got most votes, it therefore won and should govern, Mr Peters has issued a few statements indicating likely shifts in economic direction:

  • He said the decision to hold the official cashrate at 1.75% “maintains the tone of complacency on New Zealand’s economic outlook”
  • He criticised National for taxing the NZ Superannuation Fund and not making taxpayer contributions for 10 years, and
  • 2 days before the election, he issued a statement affirming his view that the immigration level was too high, criticising the National government “for deluding the public these migrants are skilled”.

Those who see Mr Peters as a negative poser should find his advocacy for change refreshing, because all his policies of the last week have been about improving economic performance.

He issued succinct statements on what the Super Fund ought to be doing, how the Government ought to be supporting it and how international markets bloated with ultra-cheap money are riding for a fall.

Crucially, Mr Peters might change the view commonly held by Western central bankers, including New Zealand’s, that the policy of printing money to stimulate economies is flawed.

But first the Reserve Bank view, from Mr Spencer:

Grant Spencer.

“Global economic growth has continued to improve in recent quarters. However, inflation & wage outcomes remain subdued across the advanced economies and challenges remain with ongoing surplus capacity. Bond yields are low, credit spreads have narrowed and equity prices are near record levels. Monetary policy is expected to remain stimulatory in the advanced economies, but less so going forward.

“The trade-weighted exchange rate has eased slightly since the August Reserve Bank monetary policy statement. A lower $NZ would help to increase tradables inflation and deliver more balanced growth.

“GDP in the June quarter grew in line with expectations, following relative weakness in the previous 2 quarters. While exports recovered, construction was weaker than expected. Growth is projected to maintain its current pace going forward, supported by accommodative monetary policy, population growth, elevated terms of trade and fiscal stimulus.

“House price inflation continues to moderate due to loan:value ratio restrictions, affordability constraints and a tightening in credit conditions. This moderation is expected to continue, although there remains a risk of resurgence in prices given population growth & resource constraints in the construction sector.

“Annual CPI inflation eased in the June quarter, but remains within the target range. Headline inflation is likely to decline in coming quarters, reflecting volatility in tradables inflation. Non-tradables inflation remains moderate but is expected to increase gradually as capacity pressure increases, bringing headline inflation to the midpoint of the target range over the medium term. Longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at around 2%.

“Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period. Numerous uncertainties remain and policy may need to adjust accordingly.”

If you think those closing words are familiar, you’re right: they’re identical to the bank’s closing paragraph in its March statement.

Peters on Reserve Bank

Mr Peters saw less of the smoothing, more a likelihood of troubled times internationally: “Beneath the veneer of stability, large risks are lurking in the global economy. The prolonged era of ultra-cheap money has created expectations that this unprecedented period will continue forever. Fed by cheap money, share & property markets are at record levels and have a long way to fall. In particular, the US share market has had an amazing run with barely a hiccup. In China, debt levels are staggering.

“Irrational exuberance rules. It is impossible to predict when, but something will go wrong and New Zealand should be prepared.”

On the Super Fund

The NZ Super Fund reported a 20.7% return for the year on Wednesday, but Mr Peters went behind that performance to look at a gigantic loss brought about by 2 National acts: “National should apologise to New Zealanders for robbing their NZ Super nest egg,” he said.

“Taxing the NZ Superannuation Fund, and not making taxpayer contributions for 10 years is a serious economic loser.

“The magnificent 20.7% return achieved by the fund in the year to 30 June will help meet future demand for NZ Super, but the nest egg could have been so much bigger if the National government had kept its hands off it.

“In 2015, then Finance Minister Bill English said: ‘Over time, along with the other funds, it will become a more & more significant part of the economy’. That’s ironic given he started taxing it in 2014.

“NZ First would encourage the fund’s managers to invest in infrastructure in New Zealand so it works for New Zealand’s long-term interests.”

On immigration

As for the high net immigration level – 73,500 in the year to August – Mr Peters said it would ensure housing, health services & infrastructure would continue at bursting point.

“The Government deludes the public these migrants are skilled – it’s a myth, most of them are unskilled & drawn to this country in many cases by the generosity of our social services.

“Few countries in the world are as generous, or soft, as we are. Where are the new hospitals, the extra doctors & nurses, the new schools & general infrastructure to cope with all these people?

“New Zealanders find it harder to get a job with the influx from overseas. The fact is, every year we are creating a city the size of Rotorua and the country cannot handle it. Even the Prime Minister [Bill English, in a reference 2 days before the election] admits they can’t keep up with population growth.”

Earlier stories:
22 September 2017: An immigration pause – or a turning point?
6 September 2017: Updated: Reserve Bank sublets to help pay the rent
5 July 2017: Super fund explains tilting strategy
9 June 2017: Reserve Bank raises question of new debt:income loan limits
23 March 2017: Housing supply the main concern as Reserve Bank holds cashrate
30 September 2014: Super guardians pose some investment thoughts
29 September 2008: NZ Super Fund has $2 billion turnaround to $880 million loss

Attribution: Bank & Peters releases.

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An immigration pause – or a turning point?

The net annual inflow of migrants dropped back by 330 from July to August – not much, but 2 Australian indicators suggest it might be a turning point.

Those indicators (links below) are from Victoria, where demand for construction workers is increasing, and Western Australia, where recent minerals price shifts suggest the mining sector will soon start to pull out of its steep downturn.

Higher wages across the Tasman have long attracted Kiwis to Australia’s construction & mining sectors, and in the downturns many have come home. Prime Minister Bill English, apparently without paying attention to the unusual state of the Australian economy, expressed surprise during the election campaign at the high number of Kiwis coming home in this downturn. Mining exports collapsed.

An Australian upturn can also happen quickly. The mining sector has projects ready to proceed, waiting for a cyclical reversal of the price decline.

While the Australian economy has been badly affected by the mining downturn, it still managed a boom in house prices, helped by strong immigration and offshore speculators.

Net inflows of migrants have helped New Zealand grow, albeit at some notable costs, such as traffic congestion which has made travel in Auckland entirely unpredictable, and extreme pressure on the housing market, including extreme price support from speculators.

There is now an expectation, no matter who wins government in this election, that more houses will be built to meet population growth, especially in Auckland, and that much of the building sector workforce may have to be imported. That ignores other population & work flows, especially to Australia.

The Kiwi flow

The global financial crisis started to get underway in late 2007, and was severe for New Zealand through to 2011. Australia, unusually, stayed in a recession for another 5 years.

New Zealanders didn’t worry too much about all that for several years, as Kiwi emigrant numbers stayed above 40,000/year through to 2013, getting above 62,000 for the August 2013 year. For the last 4 years, however, the outward flow has fallen below 40,000/year.

Most of that flow has been to Australia, above 50,000 in some 12-month periods 4 to 5 years ago, dwindling to a trickle in some recent months. In August years, the net outflow of NZ citizens to Australia from 2007-14 totalled 215,000, but in the last 3 years totalled only 14,000.

Looking at trends

Statistics NZ’s migration figures for August show a net inflow for the month of 5120, down from 5450 last year, and a net inflow for the year of 72,072, up from 69,119 for the previous 12 months but down by 330 from the 72,402 in the 12 months to July.

Long-term migrant arrivals tend to drop off slightly from July to August and they’ve done that again this year, though the inflow this July made it over the 10,000 mark (to 10,014) after nudging it in the previous 2 Augusts (9950 last year, 9942 2 years ago).

Exits had been in the range of 4500-4600 over the last 3 Augusts, but jumped to 4894 this time.

In annual terms, from a low point in the August 2010 year of 82,106 arrivals, the number climbed in large jumps over the last 5 years – over 90,000 in 2013, then to almost 104,000, to almost 118,000, to 125,000 and this year to 132,153.

Exits exceeded 87,000 in 2012, then dropped in the next 4 years to 77,500, 60,400, 57,600 & 55,900, but have jumped in the last 12 months to 60,081.

The net results have been a big turnaround from an outflow of 4118 in the August 2012 year to inflows of 12,800, 43,500, 60,300, 69,100, and this year to 72,072 – a net gain of 257,812 in 5 years.

About 25,000 migrants have arrived from Australia in each of the last 3 years, 1900/August month in the first 2 of those years, dropping to 1703 this August. Exits have closely matched those numbers, so in the last 3 August years there was a net outflow of 529 Australia followed by net inflows of 1759 & 226.

The annual net inflow from Asia fell from 36,124 last year to 32,750 this year, including 9859 (10,029 last year) from China, 7278 (10,631) from India (down because of student visa changes), 4649 (4907) from the Philippines.

The net inflow from Europe rose from 14,021 to 16,956 – 3100-3400 each year from both France & Germany, the UK up from 4588 to 6725.

Net US numbers for the year rose from 1199 to 1983, and South Africa from 3415 to 4931.

Into Auckland

The number of immigrants citing Auckland as their destination has continued to grow – 4683 in August (4430), 59,700 for the August year (53,365). Over the 3 years, exits from Auckland have been in the range of 21-23,000.

The net inflow to Auckland rose marginally this August to 2754 (2711), but has climbed annually to 36,796 (32,187 last year, 27,862 the year before).

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow August: 5120 (5450 in August last year)
Net migrant inflow August year: 72,072 (69,119; 72,402 in the 12 months to this July)
Migrants into Auckland in August: 4683 (4430)
Migrants into Auckland in August year: 59,700 (53,365)
Net Auckland inflow in August: 2754 (2711)
Net Auckland inflow in August year: 36,796 (32,187)
Net outflow to Australia in August: 330 (22 inflow)
Net outflow to Australia in August year: 1464 (2588).

The West Australian, 16 September 2017: Boom in jobs as resources takes off
Sydney Morning Herald, 16 September 2017: Lack of tradies causes two-year home building delay

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.

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Migration – quick numbers

Below are the basic migration numbers for the month of August & 12 months to August. I’ll fill in some gaps this afternoon with a longer story, including a few inputs likely to change the trend.

The bald statistics:

Net migrant inflow August: 5120 (5450 in August last year)
Net migrant inflow August year: 72,072 (69,119; 72,402 in the 12 months to this July)
Migrants into Auckland in August: 4683 (4430)
Migrants into Auckland in August year: 59,700 (53,365)
Net Auckland inflow in August: 2754 (2711)
Net Auckland inflow in August year: 36,796 (32,187).
Net outflow to Australia in August: 330 (22 inflow)
Net outflow to Australia in August year: 1464 (2588).

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.


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Migrant inflow edges up, big flow into Auckland

New Zealand’s net inflow of migrants clicked up another notch last month as the immigrant number jumped over 12,000 and the net for the year rose by 97 from June to 72,402 for the 12 months to July.

One figure in the equation has been fairly static: emigration has been running at about 5000/month, though it edged up above 5800 this July.

On the other side of the ledger, more immigrants arrive in July than in June, and those July arrivals have ramped up in the last 4 years, exceeding 10,000 in 2014, 11,000 in each of the next 2 years and reaching 12,390 last month, compared to 5843 exits.

The net inflow has been around 6500 for each of the last 3 Julys, 6547 this time.

There was still a net inflow from Australia for the year, but not for the month – a net outflow of 11 for the month (1866 arriving, 18877 leaving) and a net inflow of 469 for the year (25,428 in, 24,959 out).

The net inflow from India was well down for the year – 9267 in (12,508 last year), 1823 out (1195) for a net inflow of 7444 (11,313).

The net inflow from China for the year was 9961 (10,110) – 12,276 in (12,220), 2315 out (2110).

From the UK, the net inflow rose by 2366 to 6750 (4384) – 15,216 in (13,624), 8466 out (9240).

New Zealanders are still heading overseas, albeit the net outflow has shrunk. The July outflow has been around 2900 for 4 years (2949 this time) and the inflow was around 2300 for 3 years, but rose to 2604 this July. The net outflow for the month was 345 (517).

The net outflow of Kiwis for the last 6 years has been: 39,682 in the 12 months to July 2012, the, 29,932 in 2013, 11,004 in 2014, 5597 in 2015, 3069 in 2016 and 1112 this year.

Auckland migration

Migrant arrivals into Auckland were up in July at 5440 (5069), and by 6234 for the year to 59,447 (53,213). The net inflow into Auckland for the last 3 July years has risen from 27,395 to 31,951 to 36,753 (up by a net 4802 in the last 12 months).

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.

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Immigrants drive 2%/year population growth, 10-14yos decline

New Zealand’s population grew by over 2% in each of the last 2 June years, and by a record 100,400 in the last 12 months.

Over the last 5 years, the population grew by nearly 390,000 – exceeding the population of Christchurch.

At 30 June, Statistics NZ estimated the resident population at 4.79 million. By tonight, it exceeded 4.8 million – 4,805,505 on the Statistics NZ population clock as I write.

Over the last 4 years the natural increase has been under 30,000/year, compared to annual increases up to 36,200 during the previous 7 years.

The migrant figure went negative in the June 2012 year – 3200 more people leaving than arriving – but in the last 4 years the net migrant inflow has totalled 238,000, of whom 72,300 have arrived in the last 12 months.

Statistics NZ said the current gain from net migration equated to 15 people:1000 population. Population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said much higher net migration rates were experienced in the late 1870s, and similar rates to today were also experienced in the early 1900s & early 2000s.

“Our current net migration rate is high by New Zealand standards, but historically it has fluctuated more than other countries. At the moment we’re experiencing rates similar to Australia’s in 2009.

“Most migrants are arriving on short-term work & student visas. However, many of them extend their visas, or transition to other visa types including residence visas. It makes sense to count long-term stayers as part of our population, rather than as short-term visitors.”

Mr Dolan said half of last year’s growth was in the 15–39 age group: “This reflects the contribution of migration to our population growth, with net migration of 50,000 among those aged 15–39 years.”

As a result of recent migration flows, the share of New Zealand’s population aged 15–39 years rose from 33% in 2013 to 34% in 2017. This was a reversal of the trend that saw that bracket’s share drop from 41% in the mid-1980s.

Growth of the broad 65+ age group has continued to accelerate, up 25,000 in the last year, as the large birth cohorts of the 1950s-early 1970s begin to reach those ages.

The population at the oldest ages is also growing, reflecting decreasing death rates at all ages over a long period of time. The 90+ population is now 30,000, compared with 20,000 in 2007. It’s projected to reach 40,000 in the late 2020s and 50,000 in the early 2030s.

One group that has increased more slowly is the under 5s – up by just 800 in the last year and by 12,720 over 10 years. The 10-14 age group’s numbers rose in the last year, but both the last 2 years were lower than 10 years ago – 306,380 in 2007, 294,330 last year, 301,360 this year.

Link, and links to graphs:
National population estimates at 30 June 2017

Attribution: Statistics NZ release & tables.

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Half the record net migrant inflow is into Auckland

The net inflow of migrants continued to rise in June, reaching a record 72,305 for the June year – and 50% of that total was into Auckland.

Immigrants giving Auckland as their destination rose by 6142 to 59,076 for the 12 months, rising from 42.3% to 45% of all immigrants. The number not giving a final destination fell from 21,244 (17%) to 18,840 (14.3%).

The meteoric rise in net immigration over the last 5 years – from a net outflow of 3191 in the June 2012 year – has resulted from a combination of rising immigrant numbers and declining emigrant numbers. But in the last 12 months that picture has changed slightly.

For June, the number of immigrants was up by 950 to 9158, continuing a steady rise since 2010. On the departures side of the ledger, emigrants dropped to 4534 last June but rose to 5145 last month.

For the June year, arrivals rose from 82,305 in 2010 to 131,355 in the last 12 months, with big jumps in 2014-216, slipping back to a rise of 6300 in the last months. Departures declined from 87,593 in the June 2012 year to 55,965 in the June 2016 year, but bumped up to 59,050 in the last 12 months.

For Auckland, the net inflow in June was 2106 (1726 & 1571 in the previous 2 years). For the June year, the net inflow rose from 26,834 to 31,778 to 36,650 – 50.7% of the total net inflow.

The number of immigrants from Australia dropped slightly for both month & year – by 70 for the month to 1612, and by 262 for the year to 25,441.

Exits to Australia rose for both month & year – by 160 to 1781 for the month, and by 1111 to 24,881 for the year. The net gain shrank from 1933 to 560 for the year.

Other major immigrant sources for the year were China with a net inflow of 10,351 (9688 the previous year), India 7409 (12,118, down chiefly because student visa numbers declined), the Philippines 4646 (5010), the UK 6728 (4138) & South Africa 4867 (3054).

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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