There was a big jump in population growth from migration in July, according to Statistics New Zealand.
The latest migration figures show a net gain (long term arrivals minus long term departures) of 1139 people in July, more than double the net gain of 527 in June and almost 15 times the net gain of 76 in July last year.
July was the fifth consecutive month that the net migration gain increased.
The main driver of the increases has been a steady reduction in the number of people leaving NZ long term, while the number arriving long term has been relatively stable.
Long term arrivals have declined marginally from 3324 in February to 3302 in July, while long term departures declined from 3659 to 2163 over the same period.
The latest figures are just a shadow of what they were two years ago before border restrictions were imposed.
In July 2019 there were 14,307 long term arrivals and 7902 long term departures, giving a net gain of 6405 for the month.
Of the 3302 long term arrivals in July this year, 1995 were New Zealand citizens, 375 were Australian citizens and 932 were citizens of other countries.
Of the 2163 long term departures in July, 949 were NZ citizens, 121 were Australian citizens and 1093 were citizens of other countries.
In the 12 months to the end of July this year there were 47,046 long term arrivals into the country (compared to 149,187 in the year to July 2020) and 42,638 long term departures, (70,667 year to July 2020}, giving a net gain of 4408 (78,520 year to July 2020).
The biggest declines in the numbers of people arriving long term have been for those arriving on student or work visas.
In the 12 months to the end of July, just 591 people arrived on student visas, down from 19,925 in the year to July 2020 and 24,620 in the year to July 2019.
Just 1652 people arrived long term on work visas in the 12 months to July this year, compared with 32,140 in the year to July 2020 and 34,517 in the year to July 2019.
The number of returning NZ citizens has also plummeted, with 27,989 arriving in the 12 months to July this year, compared with 42,798 in the year to July 2020.
That appears to have debunked the theory that was widely circulated when the country first went into lockdown in March last year, that returning New Zealanders would make up for the decline in foreign workers and overseas students and prop up the net migration figures.
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