New Zealand's total migrant population increase was a whisker short of 17,000 in the 12 months to the end of November.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (based on Immigration NZ data) show there were 472,800 people in this country on migrant visas at the end of November, up by 16,989 (+3.7%) compared to the same time last year.
NZ's migrant population has been steadily increasing for the last six years (see graph below), rising from 343,065 at the end of November 2013 to 472,800 at the end of last month, an increase of 129,735 (+37.8%) over that period.
Of the 472,800 migrants at the end of November, the biggest group by far were the 211,698 people on work visas, making up 45% of all migrants, followed by 185,463 on residence visas (39%) and 74,109 on student visas (16%), see graph 2 below.
Not only are people on work visas the biggest group of migrants in the country, they are also the fastest growing group.
In the 12 months to the end of November 251,133 work visas were approved, up 9.3% on the previous 12 months and up 53.5% on the 12 months to November 2013.
By comparison just 34,614 residence decisions were approved in the 12 months to November, down 12.6% on the previous 12 months and down 31% from the recent peak of 50,139 residency approvals in the 12 months to November 2016.
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