July 14th, 2024

Record surge in migrant arrivals and departures for New Zealand in April 2024

New data reveals unprecedented trends in international migration

Provisional figures indicate that New Zealand saw 229,100 (± 3,500) migrant arrivals in the April 2024 year, marking a 25% increase from the previous year.
Provisional figures indicate that New Zealand saw 229,100 (± 3,500) migrant arrivals in the April 2024 year, marking a 25% increase from the previous year.

New Zealand is experiencing significant changes in its migration patterns, with both migrant arrivals and departures reaching record highs in the year ending April 2024, according to provisional estimates released by Stats NZ.

Provisional figures indicate that New Zealand saw 229,100 (± 3,500) migrant arrivals in the April 2024 year, marking a 25% increase from the previous year. In contrast, migrant departures surged to 130,600 (± 1,900), a 34% rise and the highest number recorded for an annual period. Consequently, the country’s annual net migration stood at a gain of 98,500 (± 3,900), up from a net gain of 85,800 (± 200) in the year ending April 2023.

Peak migration periods

The annual number of migrant arrivals peaked at 241,500 in the year ending October 2023, while net migration peaked during the same period with a gain of 137,700. These figures highlight the fluctuating nature of migration trends in New Zealand, influenced by various global and domestic factors.

Departures hit record high

The 130,600 migrant departures in the April 2024 year represent the highest annual departure rate on record. New Zealand citizens accounted for the majority of these departures, with 81,200 (± 1,500) leaving the country. This significant movement resulted in a net migration loss of 56,500 New Zealand citizens, surpassing the previous record of 44,400 set in February 2012.

Arrival demographics

Citizens from various countries contributed to the high number of arrivals, with Indians forming the largest group at 48,000 (± 600). Other notable groups included citizens from the Philippines (30,300 ± 300), China (25,700 ± 700), and Fiji (10,400 ± 300). New Zealand citizens also accounted for 24,800 (± 500) arrivals.

Net migration gains and losses

For the April 2024 year, the net migration gain of 154,900 non-New Zealand citizens far exceeded the long-term pre-COVID average of 47,600 per year. This was offset by a significant net migration loss of New Zealand citizens, highlighting a trend where more New Zealanders are choosing to live abroad.

Monthly migration figures

The month of April 2024 alone saw 19,900 (± 3,000) migrant arrivals, a 7% decrease from April 2023. However, migrant departures in the same month surged to 17,700 (± 1,400), marking a 109% increase from the previous year. This resulted in a monthly net migration gain of 2,200 (± 3,400), down from a gain of 10,200 (± 200) in April 2023.

Migration with Australia

New Zealand continues to experience a net migration loss to Australia. In the year ending September 2023, there was a net loss of 24,200 people to Australia, with New Zealand citizens making up 23,800 of this figure. This trend has been consistent over the years, with historical averages showing a net migration loss to Australia.

Revision and data accuracy

The migration estimates for 2024 are provisional and subject to revision as new data becomes available. This ongoing adjustment ensures the accuracy and reliability of the migration statistics, though it also indicates the complexity of capturing precise migration trends, according to Stats NZ.

Implications and future outlook

The record-breaking migration figures have significant implications for New Zealand’s economy, society, and infrastructure. Increased migrant arrivals can help address labour shortages and contribute to cultural diversity, but the high departure rates of New Zealand citizens raise concerns about brain drain and the potential long-term impact on the workforce.