By David Hargreaves
Net immigration is continuing to slow from the very fast pace seen in recent years, spurred by rising numbers of departing non-New Zealanders.
Statistics New Zealand figures show that the 3,066 non-New Zealanders who left the country in March was the highest total since Stats NZ started recording such information in 1978.
In the month of March, according to Statistics New Zealand, the net gain from migration was 3919, which is the smallest net gain in March since 2014.
In the March 2018 year, annual net migration was 67,984, Stats NZ said today. Annual net migration was down about 4,400 from a record level of 72,400 in the July 2017 year, but still remains high by historical standards.
Net migration for the March 2018 year was made up of 130,800 migrant arrivals and 62,900 migrant departures.
The breakdown of the monthly figures shows that while the net figures are dropping, the numbers of arrivals are still high historically. The March number of inbound migrants, at 9,966, was only slighly lower than the March high of 10,087 seen in 2017.
More people are showing signs of departing, which is making most of the difference.
The number of departures last month, at 6,047, was the highest for a March since 2013.
Among those departing, the total of New Zealand citizens was 2,981, which is slightly higher than the number for the same month a year ago (2,735), but down on the numbers of Kiwis leaving during March in other recent years.
As far as non-NZ citizens are concerned, there were, as stated at the top of this article, 3,066 departures.
“More non-New Zealand citizens are leaving,” Stats NZ population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said. “But there are just as many migrants arriving as a year ago.”
There were 29,700 departures of non-New Zealand citizen migrants in the March 2018 year, up 2% from the February 2018 year and up 14% from the July 2017 year.
In the March 2018 year, migrant arrivals on work visas rose 6 percent to 46,300, while there was a 13 percent fall in arrivals on residence visas.
“Migrants coming to New Zealand to work were the largest visa-type group,” Theyers said. “The sources of the largest numbers of work-visa migrants were the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.”
A residence visa allows migrants to live in New Zealand permanently. There were 14,600 arrivals on residence visas in the March 2018 year, down from 16,800 in the March 2017 year.
The source countries with the largest decreases in residence-visa migrants to New Zealand for the March 2018 year were:
- China, down 600 (to 2,800)
- United Kingdom, down 500 (to 1,000)
- India, down 300 (to 1,000)
- Philippines, down 300 (to 800)
The number of student-visa migrants had almost no change (23,800 in the March 2018 year), along with the number of New Zealand and Australian citizen migrants (38,700).