More people are leaving New Zealand than arriving, with the number of departures exceeding the number of arrivals each month since the border restrictions were introduced.
In March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that each new arrival would be required to self-isolate for 14 days in response to the escalating spread of COVID-19. Less than a week later, Ardern declared that New Zealand's borders would close to non-residents.
As of December, the border closure is still effective. New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are permitted to return, but are required to spend 14 days in a managed isolation or quarantine facility.
In the seven months from April - the first full month under the border restrictions - to October, 119,400 people departed New Zealand, and just 65,900 people entered, according to the latest data released by Statistics New Zealand on Monday.
In comparison, 3.86 million departures and 3.82 million arrivals were recorded in the same period a year earlier.
Arrivals and departures include all people crossing the border, either for short-term or longer term trips.
In those seven months, there were 600 departures and 300 arrivals on average each day, the latter including citizens and permanent residents, their partners and dependents, essential workers, and other travellers eligible for an exemption.
According to the data, the majority of people who arrived in New Zealand between April and October were overseas residents - people who were living overseas for more than 12 months prior to their arrival. Of the 42,700 overseas residents, almost two thirds were New Zealand citizens.
The other third were non-citizens, including people arriving on residence, work, or critical purpose visas, Australian citizens, and partners or dependents of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.
"It remains to be seen how many overseas residents will either return overseas, or stay longer than 12 months and be classed as migrants," populations indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.
The remaining 23,200 arrivals were people who reside in New Zealand, returning from an overseas trip less than 12 months in duration.
Monthly migration plummets
Monthly migration has also plummeted after March due to the ongoing pandemic. In the seven months from April to October, net migration - the difference between the number of migrant arrivals and the number of migrant departures throughout the year - was provisionally estimated at 3700. Migrant arrivals are overseas residents - including New Zealand citizens - who have cumulatively spent 12 of 16 months living in New Zealand after entering the country.
Annual net migration is provisionally estimated at 59,500 in the year ended October 2020, with 55,800 of this in the five months leading up to the border restrictions in March.
Estimates become final about 17 months after the reference month.
In the year ended March 2020, an estimated 191,048.974 migrant arrivals were recorded, with net migration sitting at 95,535.156.
Those figures nosedived following the introduction of the border restrictions amid the ongoing pandemic, with an estimated 117,268.606 migrant arrivals in the year ended October 2020.