MBIE - Annual net migration remains high

Annual net migration was 72,100 in the August 2017 year, Stats NZ said today. This compared with 69,100 in the August 2016 year. Migrant arrivals reached 132,200, a new annual record, and migrant departures were 60,100 in the year ended August 2017.

"The biggest increase in migrant arrivals were from South Africa and United Kingdom," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "The biggest decrease was from India, which was down 2,600 to 9,200, due to a decrease in student migrant arrivals."

In the year ended August, the net migration was mostly driven by non-New Zealand citizens, who provided New Zealand with a net gain of 73,500 migrants, compared with 71,700 in the August 2016 year. Migration of New Zealand citizens saw a net loss of 1,500 migrants, compared with the net loss of 2,600 in the August 2016 year.

Both arrivals and departures of non-New Zealand citizens are up from a year ago. Arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens increased from 94,000 in the August 2016 year to 100,000 in the August 2017 year. Departures of non-New Zealand citizens increased from 22,300 to 26,500 over the same period.

Visitor arrivals at record high
In August 2017, 234,000 visitors arrived in New Zealand, a new August record. This was 6 percent more visitors than in August 2016. Almost half of the visitor arrivals were people coming to New Zealand from Australia.

Visitor arrivals numbered 3.7 million in the August 2017 year, a new annual record, up 9 percent from the August 2016 year. The increase was mostly due to the 86,500 (6 percent) increase in visitor arrivals from Australia, and 55,200 (21 percent) increase from the United States.

New Zealand residents departed on record number of overseas trips 

Kiwis departed on 252,100 trips overseas in August 2017, up 7 percent from August 2016. Overseas trips to Australia, Fiji, and the United Kingdom saw the biggest changes in August 2017. Two in five trips overseas were to Australia.

New Zealand residents took a record 2.8 million overseas trips in the August 2017 year, up 11 percent from the August 2016 year. Of all resident departures, 43 percent were for holidays and 37 percent were for visiting friends and relatives. 

Short-term travelers or migrants?

International migration statistics rely on the information provided on passenger cards at the time of travel. The reported intended length of stay in New Zealand, or intended time away from New Zealand, largely determines whether the passenger is a short-term traveller or a migrant. Generally, visitor arrivals and resident departures are those intending to stay or be away for less than one year; migrants are those intending to stay or be away for one year or more.

For more information about these statistics:

Visit International Travel and Migration: August 2017