New Zealand population grows at record level

New Zealand has recorded its highest ever annual population increase, fuelled largely by immigration.

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) last Friday show that the New Zealand population grew by 97,300 in the year to 30th June, taking the country’s population to 4.69 million. This is 2.1 per cent up on the same time last year.

Statistics New Zealand say that the increase was driven predominantly by record immigration, with a net gain in migration of 69,100 during the period.

“To put this in context, the average annual net migration over the last decade has been 21,800 and average annual natural increase has been 32,300,” the SNZ report noted.

Aside from immigration, the rest of the growth was driven by natural causes and overseas Kiwis returning to NZ – especially from Australia.

“Annual population growth over 2 per cent is high by New Zealand standards,” says population statistics senior manager Jo-Anne Skinner.

“The last time we experienced population growth over 2 per cent was in 1974. And before that, at the peak of the baby boom in the 1950s and early 1960s,” she added.

The figures show that NZ now has 2.31 million men and 2.38 million women. The biggest growth in the year to June came in the over-65s, thanks to the aging population, and the 15-39 age group, due to immigration.

Article published 16th August 2016