NZ’s population grows at record rates

The population of New Zealand grew by more than 100,000 people in the year to June – the highest ever annual increase.

Immigration was the main driver of the increase, adding 72,000 to the population in the 12 months to June.

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

“Most migrants are arriving on short-term work and student visas,” Dolan continued. “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.”

The new figures also show that young people are especially attracted towards NZ, with almost half of this year’s  growth being aged between 15 and 39. This is largely due to the fact that NZ’s immigration programme is set to up to welcome young, skilled families.

As a result of the recent migration flows, the share of people living in New Zealand’s aged between 15 and 39 years rose from 33 per cent in 2013 to 34 per cent in 2017. This is a reversal of the trend that saw the share drop from 41 per cent in the mid-1980s.

The latest Statistics New Zealand data shows that the country’s population now stands at 4.79 million people. This means the population has grown by more than 400,000 people in the past five years.

Article published 14th August 2017