sign up log in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Migration added a net gain of just 353 people to New Zealand's population in August

Property / news
Migration added a net gain of just 353 people to New Zealand's population in August

Migration added just 353 people to New Zealand's population in August, according to provisional figures from Statistics New Zealand.

That compares to a net gain of 7364 in August 2019, before border restrictions were introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the 12 months to the end of August this year there was a net migration gain of just 2382, compared to a net gain of 72,461 in the 12 months to August last year.

The net migration peak was 91,680 in the year to Match 2020.  

The number of people arriving in NZ long-term, and the number leaving long-term are both well down compared to previous years. There were 48,033 long-term arrivals in the 12 months to August compared to 140,278 long-term arrivals in the 12 months to August last year.

Long-term departures dropped from 67,817 in the 12 months to August last year to 45,651 in the 12 months to August this year, to give the net gain of 2382.

The decline in long-term arrivals was across all types of citizenships, with 27,493 NZ citizens arriving back in the country long-term in the 12 months to August this year, down from 42,711 in the year to August 2020, a decline of 35.6%.

Long-term arrivals of Australian citizens dropped from 5478 in the year to August 2020 to 3131 in the year to August 2021, down 42.8%.

However the biggest decline was in citizens of all other countries, which dropped from 92,090 in the year to August 2020 to 17,409 in the year to August 2021, down by 81.1%.

Overseas student arrivals dropped from 17,845 in the 12 months to August 2020 to 676 in the year to August 2021 (-96.2%), while arrivals on work visas dropped from 28,673 in the 12 months to August 2020 to 1746 in the 12 months to August this year (-93.9%).

The interactive chart below shows trend in the monthly and annual net migration gains/losses.

The comment stream on this story is now closed.

Net long term migration

Select chart tabs

  • You can have articles like this delivered directly to your inbox via our free Property Newsletter. We send it out 3-5 times a week with all of our property-related news, including auction results, interest rate movements and market commentary and analysis. To start receiving them, go to our email sign up page, scroll down to option 6 to select the Property Newsletter, enter your email address and hit the Sign Me Up button. 

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Another shot in the arm for flat earth theorists- house prices aren't affected migration.

Migration numbers is a global vote on the attractiveness of a country.

Looks like good ol'NZ is being dumped in the pacific by the world.


Not sure the house price/migration experiment was carried out in an isolated manner. The Reserve Bank did their best to corrupt the results. Back to the lab I say.


Let's give it a bit of time for the record high numbers in the time up to March 2020 to be adsorbed - housing supply doesn't turn on a dime. The experiment is still in progress.


CWBW - actually  the evidence is that immigration does have an impact on house prices. For example, one study found a 1% increase in NZs population increases house prices by 12.5% (…).
However the effect takes some time to show up as most immigrants take a while to buy a house. So, it’s likely the big increase in net immigration over 2019 and the big jump in people coming here prior to the March 2020 lockdown was one factor in the recent massive increase in house prices, along with historically low interest rates and removal of loan to value  restrictions. 

Since our population hasn’t increased very much at all over the last 18 months any impact on prices from immigration will be well and truly wearing off. Also in places like Auckland, house building has being going gangbusters.  Demand from investors and first home buyers will also reducing due to changes in the investor tax deductions and loan to value limits. A perfect storm may be in the making. 


Looks like net migration is matching the training of new doctors, nurses, teachers which barely replaces those who retire (or die).  Leave the net migration at this roughly flat level for a couple of decades and maybe our infrastructure will have caught up: roads, rail, electricity, water supply, waste water processing, earthquake strengthening, replacing leaky buildings in schools, waste disposal, and such like.


Need to factor in 165000 visa holders just offered residency. Add that on before jumping to conclusions. 


Most of those were most likely already on a pathway to residency.


Thank-you covid. A net 353 is a vast improvement from the last decade or more.  keep it up and we will met our carbon targets.


CO2 = global warming = fake news.   You're just cheerleading the destruction of one of NZ's biggest export industries.  


Please keep it low through the next crash so I can snap up a holiday home when There Is No Hope For The Future, and then flick the switch again. Por favor.