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On the move – migration within New Zealand

On the move – migration within New Zealand

New Zealanders change their address more often than they used to, but the new address is typically less than 10 kilometres away from the old one. Internal Migration, a report released today by Statistics New Zealand, uses information from the Census of Population and Dwellings and the Survey of Dynamics and Motivations for Migration in New Zealand to look at aspects of migration within New Zealand.

The 1991 and 1996 Censuses recorded that people were moving northwards, especially to Auckland.

However, by 2001 the trend had reduced significantly, and at the 2006 Census had reversed to a net southward trend of population moves from the north of the North Island.

At the 2006 Census, urban areas had higher proportions of people who had moved between 2001 and 2006 compared with rural areas. Large proportions of movers living in rural areas had moved from urban areas, whereas movers living in main urban areas had mainly moved within these areas. Increasingly, there has been a large population exchange between main urban areas and rural areas, and has resulted in net population gains to rural areas.

Economic reasons, such as moving from a rental property into their own purchased dwelling, were the main motivators for leaving a residence for another residence within the same region. When leaving one region for another, it was mostly for employment reasons, like starting a new job, followed by social reasons, like wanting to live closer to family. People choosing to move to another region mainly considered social reasons followed by environmental reasons, such as wanting to live in a more suitable suburb, town or city.

Although similar proportions of men and women said their income had changed since they moved, more men related this change to their move. A higher proportion of men moved for better employment and career opportunities, and this reason was associated with an income rise.

In the 20 years from 1986 to 2006, Māori have become more mobile. Less than half (47 percent) had moved within New Zealand between 1981 and 1986 compared with over 60 percent in 2006. Factors included an increasingly mobile population as a whole; improved economic conditions and employment opportunities enabling more mobility; and increasing inter-ethnic, inter-regional and inter-iwi partnering.

For more information, go to the Internal Migration report on the Statistics New Zealand website.

Dallas Welch (Mrs)
Acting Government Statistician
24 June 2008

ENDS

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