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External Migration Factsheet - July 2010

Published: 20 August 2010

Migration data is sourced from Statistics New Zealand. Unless otherwise specified, all data refers to permanent and long-term (PLT, i.e. 12 months or more) migration, is not seasonally adjusted, and is rounded to the nearest 100.

  • Net annual PLT migration inflows have been easing over the past six months, and have fallen to 15,200 in the year to July 2010.
  • However seasonally adjusted monthly net migration rebounded sharply in July.    
  • Net annual PLT migration is expected to continue easing throughout 2010 after reaching its peak in January 2010.

Figure 1: Annual PLT migration

Figure 1: Annual PLT migration
Source: Statistics New Zealand

Data table for Figure 1

Figure 2: Monthly net inward migration

Figure 2: Monthly net migration
Source: Statistics New Zealand

Data table for Figure 2

Net annual PLT inflows ease further

In the year to July 2010, there were 15,200 more PLT arrivals than departures (Figure 1). Annual net PLT migration inflows have fallen for the past six months after reaching a peak of 22,600 in the year to January 2010.

…driven by a fall in arrivals and a rise in departures…

In the year to July 2010 PLT arrivals fell to their lowest level since September 2006. Although the number of New Zealanders returning rose by 800, the number of non-New Zealanders arriving has fallen by 7,300. Over the same period, the number of work permits issued has also fallen.  On an annual basis, PLT departures in the year to July 2010 were less than a year ago. However, monthly data shows departures, particularly New Zealanders to Australia, have risen in recent months. 

…however monthly net inward migration increased sharply in July 2010

Seasonally adjusted net migration inflows rose sharply from 100 in June to 1,000 in July 2010, after declining in the previous five months (Figure 2). The increase in the July month was mainly due to more non-New Zealand citizen PLT arrivals.

…although, we expect net inward migration to continue easing throughout 2010

After strong growth over 2009, net inward migration has eased over the past six months and is expected to continue trending down in the coming months. As the global economy continues to recover and labour markets strengthen, especially in Australia, PLT departures are likely to continue rising. Although the monthly data showed a sharp increase in PLT net migration over July (driven mainly by a significant increase in PLT arrivals), and the number of permanent residence approvals has increased recently, it is not clear whether it has reached a turning point. We will monitor the next few months’ data to determine the turning point has been reached for PLT arrivals.