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Migration drives local population growth

Migration drives local population growth

23 October 2018

The estimated resident population of all 16 regions grew in the year ended 30 June 2018, Stats NZ said today.

This was the first time in eight years that the population increased in every region, following occasional years of decreases in the West Coast, Manawatu-Wanganui, Canterbury, and Marlborough.

Population growth in most regions was driven by the combined effect of international and internal net migration (arrivals minus departures).

“This reflects the national trend, where migration has been the largest component of New Zealand’s population growth in recent years,” population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said.

Gains from net migration ranged from about 90 percent in Tasman and Nelson regions to about half the growth in Gisborne and Southland regions, with natural increase contributing to the rest.

Estimated resident population change by component (year to 30 June, 2018), interactive map

The subnational population estimates in this release supplement the national population estimates at 30 June 2018. They are based on 2013 Census results and estimated population change since then. Revised population estimates will be released in 2019 after 2018 Census results are available.

Territorial authority areas and Auckland local board areas

All but one of New Zealand’s 67 territorial authority areas (TAs) and 21 Auckland local board areas (LBA) experienced population growth in 2018.

The fastest growing TAs were not cities. They were Queenstown-Lakes district (5.5 percent), Selwyn district (4.8 percent), and Central Otago district (3.6 percent) in the South Island; and Kaipara district (3.1 percent) in the North Island.

“These districts are growing more rapidly than the national average of 1.9 percent,” Ms Theyers said. “However, growth was also consistently strong elsewhere in Otago, Canterbury, and Northland and this contributed significantly to the large population increase in these regions.”

Similar trends were seen across Auckland’s 21 LBAs. Population increased in every local board area, the fastest being in Waitemata (4.9 percent), Papakura (4 percent), Upper Harbour (3.9 percent), and Rodney (3.8 percent). Auckland accounted for 42 percent of the country’s population growth over the year and is now home to 35 percent of New Zealanders.

Net migration was also the main driver of population change in the TAs and LBAs. More deaths than births occurred in seven TAs, but the net migration in these areas was high enough to outweigh the natural decrease.

The TAs that experienced natural decrease but overall population growth were Kapiti Coast, Thames-Coromandel, Horowhenua, Buller, Waitaki, Timaru, and Waimate districts.

Seven areas also experienced negative net migration (more departures than arrivals). These were Mangere-Otahuhu LBA and Waitomo, Ruapehu, Whakatane, Tararua, Wairoa, and Hurunui districts.

Higher natural increase (more births than deaths) resulted in overall population growth in all these areas except for Waitomo, where natural increase was outweighed by migrant outflows.

New Zealand's estimated resident population (year end 30 June, 2018), interactive map


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