Migration & tourism at record highs

In total 71,900 more migrants arrived in New Zealand than left in the year to April 2017, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand this week.

Annual net migration remained at the same level as March 2017, with migrant arrivals numbering 129,800 in the April 2017 year - a new annual record - while migrant departures were 57,900.

Stats NZ population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan says in the April 2017 year, 52,600 people arrived in New Zealand on student visas, and of these, 23,900 were student migrants intending to stay for 12 months or more.

“Almost one in five migrant arrivals for the last 12 months were people coming to New Zealand to study.

“Student arrivals from Asia dominated the overall student migrant arrivals, contributing almost three-quarters of the total.”

By country of last permanent residence, the largest sources of student migrants were India (25 per cent), China (23 per cent), Philippines (6 per cent), and South Africa (5 per cent).

The number of student migrants arriving in New Zealand fell 3800 (down 14 per cent) in the April 2017 year. This reflected a drop in student arrivals from India (down 3800). This was the second consecutive year of decreasing student migrant arrivals from this country.

Of all the student migrants who stated their address on arrival in New Zealand, most settle in the Auckland region (57 per cent), followed by Canterbury (11 per cent), Wellington (8 per cent), and Waikato (7 per cent) regions.

While Visitor arrivals for the April 2017 year numbered 3.6 million, setting a new annual record. The April 2017 annual total was up 10 per cent from the April 2016 year.

Visitor arrivals numbered 311,900 in the April 2017 month, up 55,200 (21 per cent) from April 2016. Easter holidays, which fell in April this year but in March in 2016, likely contributed to the increase.

“Almost 35,000 more holiday-makers arrived in New Zealand in April 2017 than in April 2016, which was the main contributor to the strong overall increase in visitor arrivals in April,” says Peter.

New Zealand residents also took a record 2.7 million overseas trips in the April 2017 year, up 11 per cent from the April 2016 year.

In April 2017, New Zealand residents left on 244,200 overseas trips, up 12 per cent from April 2016.

International migration statistics rely on the information provided on passenger cards at the time of travel. The reported length of intended stay in New Zealand, or time away from New Zealand, largely determines whether the passenger is a visitor or a migrant.

Generally, visitors are those intending to stay or be away for less than one year; migrants are those intending to stay or be away for more than one year.

For more information, visit www.stats.govt.nz

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