New Zealand had its biggest ever annual decline in migration driven population growth in the 12 months to the end of March, with the net gain sliding to 6562, according to Statistics NZ.
That compares to a net gain of 91,939 in the year to March 2020, which was a record high.
The March 2021 year net gain of 6562 comprised 36,383 permanent or long-term arrivals, less 29,820 permanent or long-term departures.
That was the lowest number of annual arrivals since 1986 and the lowest number of annual departures since 1969.
The 36,383 arrivals were made up of 23,329 returning New Zealand citizens and 13,054 non-New Zealand citizens.
The 29,820 departures were made up of 7829 New Zealand citizens and 21,991 non-New Zealand citizens.
That gave a net gain of 15,500 New Zealand citizens and a net loss of 8938 non-New Zealand citizens for the year.
Of the 13,054 non-New Zealand citizens who arrived in the March year, the biggest group of 1584 were from India (compared to 19,860 in the year to March 2020), closely followed by the UK 1580 (10,616 in year to March 2020), China 1502 (14,084 in 2020), Australia 1320 (7628 in 2020) and the USA 1217 (5210 in 2020).
There was also a huge drop in migrant arrivals from South Africa, which fell from 12,635 in the year to March 2020 to 850 in the year to March 2021, and the Philippines, which dropped to 679 from 10,593 over the same period.
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