Net migration reaches new heights but departures also on the rise

  • 19/01/2024
Net migration reaches new heights but departures also on the rise
Photo credit: Kamal Kamboj

New figures show a record number of migrants entering New Zealand in 2023, according to Stats NZ.   

A just-released report shows migrant arrivals were estimated at 249,500 for 2023, a major jump from previous years.  

The 135 percent increase is stronger than pre-COVID levels - with the long-term average sitting at 120,900 arrivals from 2002 to 2019.   

Citizens of India, the Philippines, China, Fiji and South Africa drove net migration gains in 2023, the data shows.  

Migrant departure numbers were also up but only by 29 percent.   

These departure rates were very easily offset by the influx of migrants coming in, which outweighed the loss of 44,500 New Zealand citizens.   

The net migration loss was provincially a new annual record, just exceeding the previous record of 44,400 in 2012. There was also a large net migration loss of 21,100 people to Australia in the year ending June 2023. This was made up of 19,500 people moving from New Zealand to Australia and more than double that moving from Aotearoa across the ditch, with the migration number sitting at 40,600 people.   

Aotearoa's "provisional net migration loss to Australia in the year ended June 2023 was made up of a net loss of 21,400 New Zealand citizens, which more than offset a small net gain of 400 non-New Zealand citizens from Australia", Stats NZ said.