The Population Growth is Declining - What is the Scene Like?

Statistics New Zealand says a migration loss contributed to a net growth of just 0.2% in the population in the year to June. Read ahead to find out more.

As New Zealand's population growth rate slows down to its lowest point since the late 1980s, experts say that a migration outflow might be partially to blame. According to recent data, the natural increase in the population was only 24,100 - which is by far the lowest it has been since World War II.

Stats NZ said that in the June 2022 year, the overall population (provisionally) only increased by 0.2% to 5.124 million. There was a net migration loss of 11,500 people, meaning that there was an overall increase in the population of just 12,700 people during this time period.

Out of New Zealand's 16 regions, population growth declined in five – Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, West Coast and Southland– while the other regions suffered from lower than average population growth rates.

“While two-thirds of regions experienced population growth in the past year, for most regions this growth was lower than in 2021,” population estimates and projections acting manager Rebekah Hennessey said

Auckland’s population continued to decline in the June 2022 year, after falling for the first time in June 2021, Hennessey said.

Auckland's population decreased by 0.5% in June 2022, which is slightly less than the decrease of 0.6% that occurred in 2021.

“While people leaving the bigger cities such as Auckland is not new, internal migration losses have historically been offset by international migration gains,” Hennessey said.

“With international migration losses now occurring, Auckland had an overall population loss of 8,900 people in the June 2022 year.”

Nationally, the population has been growing more slowly over the last few years. In 2020, growth was at 2.2%. By 2021, it had slowed to 0.4%, and in 2022 it dropped again to just 0.2%.

“Slowing regional growth reflects what is happening nationally, particularly annual net migration loss, partly due to the impact of Covid-19 on international migration,” Hennessey said.

“This net migration loss was combined with the lowest natural increase since World War II.”

Auckland has been losing an increasing number of residents to other parts of New Zealand since the late 1990s. In the last year, 15,000 more people have left Auckland than moved there from elsewhere in the country. This follows net losses of 11,300 and 15,400 people in the previous two years.

Out of the 16 regions in the country, internal migration was the main population driver in 12 while natural increase drove population change four times. Not a single region had international migration as its June 2022 year main population driver.

In the June 2022 year, two regions in New Zealand – West Coast and Marlborough - recorded more deaths than births, a phenomenon known as natural decrease. These areas have larger populations of older people, with 23% of residents being 65 years or over. In comparison, 16% of all New Zealanders were aged 65 years or over at 30 June 2022.

What does it all mean for international immigration?

The recent data from Stats NZ shows that New Zealand's population growth has been slowing down over the last few years, and a migration outflow might be partially to blame. This is likely to have an impact on international immigration numbers going forward.

If you are considering migrating to New Zealand, it is important to keep this trend in mind and to be aware that the country might not be able to offer the same opportunities as it has in the past. In fact it would offer way more than your expectations.

New Zealand is  a beautiful country with a lot to offer, so it is worth considering if you are looking for a new place to call home. Professional Visa Solutions  can help you with your visa application and offer expert guidance on the best way to migrate to New Zealand. Contact us today to find out more.

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