New Zealand's brain drain has turned into a brain gain, with migration roaring back to life. According to estimates released by Statistics New Zealand, there were 5700 more people arriving in the country than leaving in the year to November 2022. This marks the first annual net migration gain since February 2021.
The estimates show 98,000 migrants arrived in New Zealand in the time period, compared with 92,300 who left. This represents a 77 percent increase in arrivals and a 36 percent increase in departures. However, the arrivals are still below the pre-COVID average of 120,900 for November in the years from 2002 to 2019.
The net migration gain was made up of a net loss of 15,600 New Zealand citizens and a net gain of 21,300 non-New Zealand citizens. This is in line with pre-COVID-19 migration patterns, which show New Zealand usually has an annual net migration gain of non-citizens and a loss of citizens.
However, while New Zealand is getting an influx of migrants, it seems Kiwis are still leaving for Australia. Stats NZ estimates show a provisional net migration loss of 8900 people to Australia in the year ended June 2022. This was made up of 13,700 migrant arrivals from Australia to New Zealand, and 22,600 migrant departures from New Zealand to Australia.
Infometrics senior economist Brad Olsen said the migration estimates show there is now a brain gain. "Recent migration estimates show a rapid turnaround in net migration, with strong migrant inflows flipping the brain drain to a brain gain," he wrote in an Infometrics newsletter.
Overall, the latest migration figures suggest that New Zealand is once again becoming a destination of choice for people looking to start a new life, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. And this is a sign of a healthy and growing economy.
The increase in migration can be attributed to several factors, including the country's effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has allowed New Zealand to largely avoid the lockdowns and restrictions seen in other parts of the world. This has made New Zealand an attractive destination for those looking to escape the uncertainty and economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.
Another factor is the country's strong economy, which has been able to weather the pandemic-induced recession better than many other countries. The unemployment rate in New Zealand remains relatively low, and there are ample job opportunities available, particularly in the technology and healthcare sectors. This has made New Zealand an attractive destination for skilled workers, who are in high demand in the country.
Additionally, New Zealand's natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle have always been a draw for many people, and the country's efforts to protect its environment have only made it more appealing. The country's efforts to promote sustainable living, its commitment to clean energy, and the government's new goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, have made New Zealand an attractive destination for those who value the environment and a good life quality.
The government's immigration policies have also played a role in the increase of migration. The government has made it easier for skilled workers and entrepreneurs to immigrate to New Zealand, and has also introduced new visa categories to attract talent in specific industries.
In conclusion, the latest migration figures suggest that New Zealand is once again becoming a destination of choice for people looking to start a new life, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With its strong economy, effective pandemic response, natural beauty, and commitment to sustainability, New Zealand has much to offer for those looking for a new home.