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External Migration - May 1999

Visitor arrivals reach May high

For the ninth consecutive month visitor arrivals have increased when compared with the same month of the previous year said Deputy Government Statistician Dianne Macaskill. During May 1999 there were 89,770 visitor arrivals, 8,390 or 10 per cent more than in May 1998. The latest figure exceeds the previous May high of 87,840 recorded in 1997. For the year ended May 1999 there were 1.532 million visitor arrivals, up 70,000 or 5 per cent compared with the May 1998 year total.

Between April and May 1999 the seasonally adjusted number of overseas visitor arrivals increased by 2 per cent. This is the largest percentage monthly change in the series since the increase of 7 per cent between August and September 1998.

Visitors from Asia increased by 5,660 between May 1998 and May 1999, and this accounted for two-thirds of the total increase in visitors over the period. There were also more visitors from Australia (up 760) and the United Kingdom (up 600).

There was a net loss of 2,850 permanent and long-term migrants in May 1999, compared with losses of 1,230 and 2,200 in May 1997 and 1998. After the removal of seasonal variations there was a net loss of 1,040 migrants, compared with net losses of 660 and 610 in March and April 1999.

During the latest May year, long-term departures exceeded arrivals by 11,340, a significant turnaround from the net gains of 17,520 and 1,060 in the May 1997 and 1998 years. During the May 1999 year there were net outflows to Australia (21,550), Europe (4,340) and Northern America (800) and net gains from South Africa (2,180) and many Asian countries including China (2,600), Japan (2,210), India (1,220) and Taiwan (1,080).

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